Dog “Heat” Cycle Basics

"But… but… I just let her outside for a minute!"  "Didn’t have your shoes on, did ya?"

Heat_dig_cartoon_2 There is no telling how many times that little conversation has played out.  They knew the dog was in "heat" (estrum), but they underestimated the sex drive, which is a mistake. If the boys don’t dig in, the girls may dig out.  [It’s a powerful force in nature.  If Bill Clinton couldn’t resist it, how do you expect the dogs to show more self-control than a President?]

Of course, there are definitely folks who just don’t understand what’s going on in the first place.  Maybe you’re one of them.  If so, stay tuned.

Most female dogs have two estrous cycles yearly.  That might make you think their cycles are six months long, but they’re not.  They have two cycles that last about a month, about six months apart.  For ten months out of the year, the average female dog’s ovaries are pretty much shut down.  As far as female hormones go, they aren’t producing any more than a neutered male dog during these quite periods.  That’s why dogs who have had complete ovario-hysterectomies (complete removal of ovaries and uterus) are not likely to need hormone replacment therapy.

Each cycle consists of three parts: the "coming-in", the "being-in", and the "going-out", also known as pro-estrus, estrus and metestrus.  Each part lasts about seven to nine days on average.  The female is fertile and receptive to the male only during the middle part or estrus, despite the fact that she is attractive to the male throughout the entire cycle.  Boy, is she attractive.  They can smell her pheromones (hormone-like scent chemicals) for miles — literally.  You may see a motley crowd of mutts assembling, even if your nearest neighbor is in the next county.

Heat_tease_cartoon_2 During pro-estrus, the vulva (outside female parts) begins to swell, and a bloody discharge develops.  The males are surely getting interested at this point, but the female is far from ready.  Unfortunately, many inexperienced owners equate this bloody discharge phase with the entire cycle.  They mistakenly assume that once the bleeding stops the cycle is over and it’s safe to let the dogs return to their normal living arrangements.  Whoops!  That’s the time when the female is becoming receptive and fertile, so this is the best time to get pregnant. 

If day 1 is the first day of bloody discharge ("showing color", as the breeders say), then day 9 is the day to get prospective parents together.  If you don’t want to raise puppies, this is the time to keep the possible parents separated.  Better yet, keep them separated for an additional two weeks.

The whole business is going to take three or four weeks.  Maintain constant vigilance.  Don’t under-estimate the sex drive.  Don’t let her out unless you’ve got your shoes on and are ready to defend her honor.

720 thoughts on “Dog “Heat” Cycle Basics

  1. Tom says:

    I have a German Shorthair and she is inconsistent with her heat cycles. I want to breed her around the end of February but she will not be ready then. Is there a way to force her into heat so she can be bred at that time?
    She is 3+ years old and has had one litter of pups. I am planning to get her fixed after her next litter, and also want her in shape for the hunting season.

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Annette,

        This is a little long. Most dogs finish their cycle in 3 to 4 weeks. If she doesn’t get back to normal within the next few days, I would see your veterinarian just to be sure everything is okay.

        • Lydia Diaz says:

          Is that 3-4 weeks from first swell? My girl has been swollen for 5-6 days and no blood yet. This is her 3rd heat and we bred her on her 2nd heat. She had a healthy litter.

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Lydia,
            The average length of the cycle from first swelling is 3 to 4 weeks. Each of the three phases usually lasts 7 to 9 days. HOWEVER, some dogs last much longer, some much shorter.

          • Maureen says:

            This is our girls first time breeding. We also have a neutered male in the home. We had 3 successful ties with the stud on days 9, 11 and 13 but she is still flagging my neutered male and they have been getting tied on days 15 and 16. My question is, Does this mean she has not ovulated yet and should I try to get a 4th try in with our stud on day 17?

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Maureen,
            She may or may not have ovulated. If she is still willing to accept the male, I’d go for it.

        • Lauren Dowell says:

          My dog started to bleed last Friday and it is now Monday and the bleeding has stopped. She is pretty consistent with short cycles and is hard to breed because of this unpredictability. I have her scheduled for a progesterone test Thursday. Should I move it earlier?

          • Doc says:

            Hello, Lauren,
            I am no expert in this field. I am told that you start testing when the vaginal cytology shows 50% or more superficial cells, and then you are looking for the initial rise in progesterone of above 2 ng/ml, and then plan to breed on days 3 and 5, or 4 and 6, after that. Many check another progesterone 2 days after the initial 2ng/ml finding to confirm the rise.

            So, a vaginal cytology would be the key as to when to start checking the progesterone. I hasten to repeat, I am no expert in this field.

      • Larisa workman says:

        I’m having same situation with my doberman, im literally ready to pull my hair out, I also have male chawawa inside and he now won’t eat 🙄 im so ready for those be over

  2. Tom says:

    I have a German Shorthair and she is inconsistent with her heat cycles. I want to breed her around the end of February but she will not be ready then. Is there a way to force her into heat so she can be bred at that time?
    She is 3+ years old and has had one litter of pups. I am planning to get her fixed after her next litter, and also want her in shape for the hunting season.

    • Candace Aulds says:

      Yeah! My dads two German shepherds have been bleeding on and off since December. It’s been stressful. My dad quickly passed pf cancer in 7 quick months and just passed 2/5 a lot of new people in and out since.

      Hoping that’s why! If it happens to me I assume it can happen to them LOL!

      • Ricardo Mendoza says:

        I have a personal question, my dog is 1 years old and about 2 months on top of that year haha. And the other day she got locked up with a male outside of my neighborhood. I didn’t know and its been 2 days now I just want to know if its safe? She wasn’t bleeding at all but she was in heat im sure she let the dog do it without noone forcing it. I just don’t want her to get hurt or is there something I can feed her to kill off any offspring its been 2 days only since the occurring
        Incident

        • Doc says:

          Hello, Ricardo,
          The female usually becomes receptive to the male (and fertile) after the bleeding stops. There isn’t a good way to abort the possible pregnancy at this stage. If you don’t ever want to have puppies, I would schedule her to get spayed in 2 weeks. Even if pregnant, the pregnancy shouldn’t be large enough to increase her risks in surgery. If you do plan to have puppies later, then I would schedule her for an ultrasound four weeks after the breeding. If she proves to be pregnant at that time, the pregnancy can be terminated with a series of prostaglandin injections. That procedure does require veterinary supervision, as there are potential side effects.

  3. Doc says:

    The most commonly used drug is cabergoline. This
    works by “stopping the lack of heat cycle”, rather
    than by “starting a new cycle”. When the dog is out
    of heat, there are certain hormones being produced to
    keep her in that quiet phase of the cycle. Cabergoline
    can (but does not always) stop that situation,
    allowing a new heat cycle to begin.

    If it has been at least four months since the last
    heat cycle, cabergoline has a good chance of working
    for you. You should consult with your regular
    veterinarian on this. The reproductive specialists
    tell me that they give it daily until the dog shows
    signs of coming into heat, up to 25 days. If it hasn’t
    worked in 25 days, it probably is not going to.

    I hope this is helpful to you. Thanks for reading and
    writing.

    • Murrand Ranson says:

      My one year old pitbull puppy just had her first cycle I see spots of blood on the floor it is a private places I would like to know can I get her pregnant her first cycle it really be safe

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Murrand,

        I do like to wait until the dog is fully mature herself. At one year, that should be okay. Personally, I would wait until her second cycle.

  4. Doc says:

    I am not sure that I understand your question. If you are asking how many times she could be bred during her heat, I can’t give you an exact number. When we are trying to get a female pregnant, we usually start on day 9 (if day 1 was the first day of bleeding), take her to the male and breed every other day until she refuses the male. With a household where the male is present constantly, he might mate with her twice a day every day during her fertile period.

    As far as getting pregnant, once is enough if it’s at the right time.

    I hope this helps to answer your question.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  5. glenn says:

    hi.. i have a pitbull, and she is 2 and 1/2 years old… i want to breed her, so i hired a dog to mate with my dog… but unfortunately, my dog did not became pregnant.. so i think that the male dog is impotent, so i tried it on other dog but it turn out to be the same.. my dog did not became pregnant.. although her mamary glands swells for a period of time after her mate in male dogs…

    what should i do??
    my dog is impotent?

    • T. Randall says:

      No you could be breeding her on the wrong day. Breed her on the ninth and 11th day or 12 th day of heat. Sounds like she had a false pregnancy.

      • Janet says:

        I’m so upset my male got my girl shes only 10mths I heard her yelp and rushed outside they were together. I shouted at my male and they parted. His bits went back in straight away. She hasn’t anything dripping out. Shes on day 9/10 of her first season. I can home from work was on the phone and it just slipped my mind and I let them both out. Which I havent been doing . Do you think shes pregnant? I’m praying shes not.

        • Doc says:

          The timing does make it possible. I would recommend an ultrasound at 28 days post-breeding. It is possible to abort the pregnancy with prostaglandin injections. If you were considering having her spayed, it would be fine to do so in the first few weeks post-breeding.

  6. Doc says:

    The male you intend to use (or have already used) should have a semen evaluation. If this is normal, and no pregnancy results, then the female should be evaluated. It is possible that she is not being bred at the correct time. It is also possible that she has fertility problems related to her hormone levels, or even an abnormality of her uterus. You need some direct help from a veterinarian in your area who works with reproductive problems.

    Good luck.

    • Tia says:

      Hey doc I want to ask my dog started to spot abit of brown blood on the 10th February but it was just a few spots but I think by Friday the bleeding went to a dark red colour and she was bleeding alot more by I think friday I tried to mate her on Saturday the 20th February she kept snapping at the male it was meant to be her 10th day her vluva wasn’t all that swollen either but today the 24th February it looks alot more swollen then before but we went to a K9 place to get a progesterone test done Monday 22nd and it was 0.75 the women said she’s in season but she’s at the bottom and to come back on Friday for another test I said she kept snapping at the male and she said it’s because she’s not ready do you think her levels should be higher by then I hope it is. she’s still bleeding but it’s gotten abit watery and light red might turn pinkish she’s a Staffordshire bull terrier

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Tia,
        Still bleeding usually means not ready yet. Also, it generally helps to take the female to the male’s territory so that she doesn’t feel that she should be defending her territory. If the dogs usually live together, and usually get along well, then she will probably be more receptive after a few more days.

  7. STEVE SMITH says:

    I HAVE 2 AMERICAN BULLDOGS, HE’S 9/M & SHE’S 11/M. THEY ARE VERY YOUNG !THE FEMALE WENT INTO HEAT ON JAN.1/2008.I SEPARATED THEM UNTIL JAN.14/08 THE MALE GETS LOOSE DURING FEEDING.IN UNDER 3 MINUTES THEIR STUCK.IS SHE PREGNANT ? IT’S FEB.1/08 CAN THEY PLAY NOW & IF SHE IS CAN THEY PLAY AT ALL OR FOR HOW LONG ?

  8. Doc says:

    Hello, Steve,

    If the male bred her two weeks ago, then she is probably about out of “heat” by now. However, I’d wait another week before letting them get together. At 28 days post-breeding, you need to get an ultrasound done to see whether or not she is pregnant.

    Thanks for reading and writing,

  9. della says:

    Hey Steve,

    I have let my beagal get with her boyfriend during the middle heat cycle. It has ben a day and we are going to try again. Can this definetly mean she will have pups? My beagal is 3 years old and has never been bread before she has had heat cycles and they have appeared normal. Oh yea how many do you think she will have ?
    thanks della

  10. Doc says:

    Hello, Della,

    As with people, there is no guarantee of a pregnancy, even if the breeding takes place at the “right time”. Your odds of conception will be increased by continuing to allow the dogs to breed every one or two days until the female no longer accepts the male.

    Three years old should be fine for her first litter. Average litter size is six pups, but you can have as few as one or as many as ten, or even more.

    At about four weeks post-breeding, she should be checked by your regular veterinarian. An ultrasound examination can detect pregnancy at that time. He or she can also give you more instructions on how to handle the birthing. At that time your dog will also need to begin eating a puppy growth formula food (like Puppy Chow or Science Diet Puppy). She will need extra nutrition for the developing puppies during the second half of pregnancy, and also through the nursing period. The puppy food is the easiest way to do that.

    Good luck, and thanks for reading and writing.

  11. ashley says:

    I have a toy poodle who is eight i believe she just went into heat is it safe for her to have puppies at this age.

  12. Doc says:

    Hello, Ashley,

    Dr. Joni Freshman in Colorado Springs is a reproductive specialist and she says:
    “Bitches over the age of 6 years who have never been bred are at increased risk for complications during gestation and delivery. For these bitches, run a complete panel before breeding; check glucose [blood sugar]and calcium levels prior to whelping, and be on the lookout for indications for c-section.”

    Here is a link to a breeding article on Veterinary Partner.com, which can also be accessed through the pet libary section of the http://www.kennettvet.com website.

    http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2084&EVetID=3001962

    Generally speaking, I think dogs this age should be spayed to avoid the risk of female trouble as they get older. Here’s a link to a previous post:

    http://www.yourpetsbestfriend.com/your_pets_best_friend/2007/03/you_should_spay.html

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  13. Dan says:

    Hi:

    I have a beagle and she came into heat about two weeks ago. My kids let her out at about 9 or 10 days into her heat cycle. She is still bleeding and it’s been 5 days since so I picked up the pug I was going to breed her to and she is still very receptive. Do you think there is a chance she didn’t get pregnant before? Thanks

  14. Doc says:

    Hello, Dan,
    I’m wondering how old your dog is. Very young dogs are more likely to have irregular heat cycles.
    Ordinarily, the bleeding stops by day 9 or 10 and ovulation will soon occur. Just “playing the numbers”, one would expect that she might be pregnant from the first breeding and no longer receptive. On the other hand, it’s unusual for the dog to be receptive while she’s still bleeding in the first place. This is not a 100% reliable indicator, unfortunately.

    The best test of whether or not she’s still in a fertile period is whether or not she will still accept the male. I’d try it.

    As to whether she is already pregnant, it’s hard to say. As with people, you don’t always get pregnant on the first date, and thank goodness for that.
    With five days or more between breedings, it is not likely that you will have pups from both fathers. [That would be possible if she were bred by both dogs in a 24-hour period.]

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  15. tracey says:

    i have a toy poodle that just had a pup on nov 25 2007..she should not come into heat again for 6 months but i just found out she is in heat again already..it has only been a little of 3month since she had her pup..is this normal and could she be fertial..my male is going crazy for her like she is ready and she is flagin alot
    thanks
    tracey

  16. Doc says:

    If you will add the nine weeks of her pregnancy to the time that has elapsed since birth of the puppy, you will find that it has been at least 5&1/2 months since her last heat cycle: pretty close to six months.

    So, yes, she is probably having a normal, fertile heat cycle. Time for birth control or planned pregnancy. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

    • Sandra Ritz says:

      My black lab just went into heat. Is it safe to have her fixed. Even know she is a pure bread we don’t want puppies. When should we have her fixed

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Sandra,

        The surgery can be done any time. While they are in heat, it is more complicated, more bleeding, usually a bigger incision. Ideally I’d wait until two weeks after she goes out of heat. If she were to get bred, the pregnancy would be very small and not present much of a problem with the surgery.

  17. Emily says:

    I have a german shorthair female who is 11 mo’s old and has never gone into heat. I keep hearing that they can go into heat as late as 14 mo, is that right? She’s healthy as a horse, or so it seems, and is on a good diet, so I don’t know if it’s something we could possibly be doing wrong, or if she’s just late. We want to breed her, not quite yet, but we do want to be sure that she is able to be bred, or we’ll get her fixed. Is there anything I can do to bring on a heat cycle?

  18. Doc says:

    Hello, Emily,

    I’d say to just be patient at the moment. She isn’t even a year old yet. My Rottweiler had her first cycle at sixteen months (though that is exceptionally late). I wouldn’t monkey with her hormones at this early date.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  19. Frances says:

    I have a yorkiepoo that will be 2 in June. She started her 3rd heat cycle on March 5. She was with the male on day 12. Will female dogs still act interested in males if they got pregnant? yesterday was day 14 and she still put her rear in the air and moved her tail over.

  20. Doc says:

    Female dogs are receptive to the male for several days before ovulation, and often remain receptive to the male until several days after ovulation has taken place. It is possible that she has already conceived. It is also possible that she has not. For best results, allow the dogs to continue mating at least every 48 hours until the female is no longer receptive.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  21. Jacqueline Peterson says:

    My golden just turned two in November, and cycled March 10th. I have been charting her for the last few years. She cycled @ 10 months in September of ’06, and has been a March/Sept. girl. By calculation she should have been all but done by the 31st (or 21 days). I plan to have her OFA clearance done before her Sept. cycle and breed her then.

    However, despite the fact that we should have been in the free and clear two days ago, she is swollen and spotting again. It is a bright red discharge at this time. Do heat cycles “piggyback” like this? Our last female never had this happen.

  22. Doc says:

    Hello, Jacqueline,

    This is not a normal situation. Young bitches often have “false starts” on their first heat cycle, but usually NOT at this age, and not after prevous regular cycles. Average cycles last 21 to 28 days. However, after 21 days, you’d expect to be winding down, rather than starting bloody discharge anew.

    I would suggest that you contact your veterinarian. It is possible that the dog is having an irregular cycle and has not ovulated yet. This may not be a disease process, but just a funky cycle. Vaginal cytology examination, white blood cell count, and progesterone levels would be things to look at in order to look for evidence of a long cycle or possible infection.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  23. Amanda says:

    This is less a need for advice and more just out of my own curiosity.
    Why is it that when female humans go through this process, that means they CANNOT get pregnant whereas when female dogs (and other animals) go through it it means they CAN get pregnant.
    Is the blood discharged by dogs and other animals caused by a different reason than it is in humans?

  24. Doc says:

    The bleeding in dogs and in humans, while associated with the estrous cycle in both, does in fact come from totally different sources.

    In humans, each month uterus prepares anew for the implantation of an embryo. The menstrual discharge is the sloughing of the uterine lining that has been prepared to nourish the new embryo. If no new embryo arrives, the body sees no need to maintain all that extra uterine lining, so it basically gets flushed.

    In dogs, the process is different. Twice yearly, they have a 3 to 4 week cycle to prepare,produce, and nourish embryos (should conception occur). For the five months between cycles, their ovaries aren’t doing anything, and there will be no sexual activity. Therefore, the lining of the vagina need not be tough. During this period, the tissue is no tougher than the inside of the eyelid. When the ovaries become active, the vaginal lining changes, toughening up to withstand the trauma of mating. During this time, there is increased blood supply, and initially there is a bloody discharge from the vagina. Once the vaginal lining has grown a tougher layer, there is no more bleeding, and the bitch is in her fertile period.

    Totall different situations.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  25. alison says:

    My boyfriend recently moved in with me and he brought his 7 yr old female lab. She gets along great with my 5 yr old male coonhound but we’re having a new problem. To preface, the male was neutered as a puppy but she is not altered, and neither dog has mated before. Anyways, she went into heat maybe a week or two ago and since then my dog has been mounting her. (unsuccessfully). A couple days ago they were outside and we heard her yelp and she was bleeding again from her vagina, much more than before. She was also frantically pursuing the male and he was trying to hide from her. In the 2 days since then, she has been obsessed with following him around and licking him. (She is not bleeding). He shows no interest in her. We’re having to separate them in the house bc she won’t let him sleep! What exactly is going on? Will it ever end?

  26. Doc says:

    Hello, Alison,

    I must say that I am by no means a behavior expert.

    The flowing hormones certainly complicate the picture. In absence of the heat cycle, it would not be uncommon for the resident dog to attempt to assert dominance over the newcomer. This can take the form of mounting behavior that has nothing to do with sex. You may see this with two spayed females in a similar situation.

    Even dogs that are well and truly neutered may still secrete some testosterone elsewhere in the body (as do female dogs). I have certaily seen neutered males who had erections. So, it’s possible that there is some sexual behavior going on.

    For the most part, I suspect that the two dogs are in the throes of thrashing out the dominance hierarchy (“pecking order”). If you start to get a feeling for which dog is becoming “top dog”, then try to reinforce that, rather than “rooting for the underdog”. Greet that dog first, give its treat first, etc. This helps to have fewer challenges for dominance.

    Good luck, and thanks for reading and writing.

  27. Nicki says:

    HI,

    I bred my female last September for the first time she was an amazing mom and she had 4 puppies. I would like to get her on the cycle of having puppies in the summer so I would like to breed her again without having a heat cycle that she is not bred on and then give her a break is that a good idea?

  28. Doc says:

    Hello, Nicki,

    A lot of that depends on how well recovered she is from raising the last litter. If she has gained all her weight back, and looks and feels good, she will probably do okay. Puppy mills (commercial kennels that raise dogs the way farmers raise pigs) do this all the time. Of course, unlike the pig farmer, they aren’t planning to make bacon out of the dog when her productivity slows down.

    Most serious breeders who are trying to raise the quality of their bloodline usually give the bitch a cycle off, raising only one litter per year.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  29. Nicole Colette Group says:

    I have a 9mo. old female yellow labrador retriever. She began bleeding today. How many days does the bleeding usually occur?

    Also, is discharge from the nipples one of the many signs that she is entering proestrus?

    Thanks! Nicole

  30. Doc says:

    Hello, Nicole,

    Bleeding usually lasts from 7 to 9 days, after which the dog is entering the most fertile portion of her cycle. On a first cycle, things can be irregular, so watch the dog, not the calendar. Even so, I’d be sure she was protected from the males for at least four weeks.

    If the nipple just has a bit of clear fluid, with no swelling, tenderness, or discoloration, I wouldn’t worry about it. If the discharge is thick, or you DO have swelling, tenderness or discoloration, take your dog to her veterinarian to get things checked.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  31. Pam says:

    Our brindle English Mastiff had her 3rd heat cycle Oct 1st, 07 & had her 1st litter New Years Eve. Our fawn English Mastiff had her 3rd heat cycle Feb 28th this year. Both were put with our male English Mastiff. Our fawn didn’t get pregnant & she only has had her heat cycle every 8 months where as our brindle has hers every 6 months. Our brindle isn’t showing any signs that she’s going into heat again yet. Could having her 1st litter alter her timing on her heat cycle? Also we were really hoping for puppies from our fawn but now it looks like we’ll have to wait 8 months before trying again. Would it be possible to force her heat cycle sooner? If so, what would be the best way & when would we be able to, time wise? Thanks so much!

  32. Doc says:

    Hello, Pam,

    In your situation I believe you would be best served by consulting directly with a veterinarian who does a lot of reproductive work. It is possible that having had a litter may have changed the heat-cycle timing, but it usually does not. “Forcing” a heat cycle can be done, but really needs to be overseen by an expert in using the hormones and drugs involved. This is not something that I can counsel you through long-distance.

    Good luck.

  33. Andrea says:

    Hi-I have an 8 mo. old gold. retriever in her 1st heat. I feel like a failure of a mother-I didn’t realize the Aust. Shep. down the road wasn’t fixed, and naively was not as vigilant as I could be in watching her. They “hooked up” and I am extremely concerned about the danger to her with her young age. I also researched “Alizin” to terminate the pregnancy. Is that an approved drug in the US? How concerned should I be about the trama to her body?

  34. Doc says:

    Hello, Andrea,

    I would not be concerned about your dog having been traumatized by the breeding. This is very unlikely.

    Pregnancy on the first heat is not desirable, simply because the dog hasn’t finished her OWN development. It is analagous to 13-years-old girls having babies. It happens, but it’s not the best situation.

    Alizin is not available in the United States, and there really is no perfect option here. Your best bet is to get an ultrasound at 30 days post-breeding to see if she is actually pregnant (she may not be). Also, protect her from further exposure to males until she is completely out of her cycle.

    If she is pregnant at 30 days, prostaglandins are the most often used drug to terminate the pregnancy. Of course, you could just take the puppy works out and be done with it (have her spayed). Here is a brief discussion of the options:

    Clin Tech Small Anim Pract. 2002 Aug;17(3):116-23.
    Pregnancy termination in the bitch and queen.
    Eilts BE.
    Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Skip Bertman Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA.

    Mismate or pregnancy termination is one of the most common “reproductive” requests from dog and cat owners. Ovariohysterectomy [spay] is the best alternative for those clients who do not really have a valid reason for keeping a reproductively intact animal. If the animal is a potential breeder, drugs are available that can prevent or terminate pregnancy. The use of these drugs must be based on the safety, efficacy, convenience, compliance in treatment, and cost of the drug. Drugs that can be given during estrus to prevent pregnancy include estrogens and tamoxifen. However, because most dogs presented for mismate are not truly pregnant, a pregnancy examination should be performed before any drug is given to terminate pregnancy. If a dog is known to be pregnant, multiple doses of natural or synthetic prostaglandins can be used throughout pregnancy, whereas multiple doses of prolactin inhibitors (cabergoline, bromocriptine, metergoline) or dexamethasone can be used in the second half of pregnancy. Combined protocols of prostaglandin and prolactin inhibitors are also effective at terminating pregnancy. Progesterone blockers such as mifepristone and aglepristone are effective, but very expensive [and not available in U.S]. Other drugs, such as the isoquinolones and progesterone synthesis inhibitor epostane are available outside of the United States and appear to be very effective at terminating pregnancy. No drug, however, meets all the following criteria of a perfect mismate drug: possible to give at any stage of estrus or pregnancy, 100% effective, causes no vaginal discharge, has no side effects, does not impair future fertility, is readily available, and is inexpensive.

    Call your regular veterinarian and discuss the options with him/her.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  35. Doreen says:

    I have two min pins and the older one (2 yrs) just finished her heat cycle in February and the younger one (9 months) just started her heat cycle. My older min pin is showing signs of being in heat. Is this normal? I have never had two female dogs at the same time so I would appreciate some information regarding this issue.

    • Kelly says:

      Hi my jack russel went into heat 31st january and done it with male 8th feb and again 15th feb but they never stuck dont think but she was yelping we left them in spare room do you think shes pregnant

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Kelly,
        It doesn’t require a “tie” for conception to occur. You can get an ultrasound to check for pregnancy 28 days after the last breeding.

  36. Doc says:

    Hello,Doreen,

    It is unusual for a dog to cycle three months after her last estrum. However, it is not uncommon for females housed together to begin cycling together. The mechanism that causes this to happen is not understood. If your dog seems okay otherwise, I would not be too concerned. If the cycle does not proceed as it usually does for her, or if there are other signs of illness, then you should have her examined by your veterinarian.

    Also, if her cycles continue to be unusually frequent, she may be having an ovary problem. Again, you should consult your veterinarian if that occurs.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  37. Mel says:

    My year and a half female german shepherd was in heat this past March, now she is bleeding again. Is this something i should consult a Vet about? She hasn’t been acting any different, she still has energy and is eating well. What should I do?

  38. Doc says:

    Hello, Mel,

    I would have your veterinarian check out your dog. It would be unusual for her to have another cycle so quickly. A vaginal cytology examination (plus possibly a complete blood count) should differentiate between a weird heat cycle and some type of “female trouble” that could be causing a vaginal discharge.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  39. Susan Hall says:

    I have a female Chihuahua that went into heat for the first time at 8 months old. She was bred accidentally and had four puppies. She ended up having to have a c-section as the puppies were too big. The mom and dad were both 4 lbs. She got pregnant on October 2nd and the puppies were delivered on December 4th, 2007 Mom and babies all did fantastic. Anyway, I have been waiting for her to come into heat again and there is no sign of it. I have another female that is pregnant right now and is due on July 1st. Do you think that the c-section could be holding her back or do you think it could be something else? The only thing she does even remotely sexual is to hump my arm every night!

  40. Doc says:

    Hello, Susan,

    Heat cycles early in the dog’s life are often irregular in timing. Some dogs have cycles every 8 months instead of every six months (they can’t read the book). I doubt that the C-section had anything to with he current lack of cycling, unless they also removed her ovaries and uterus (and I’m sure that they would have told you about that).

    If she continues to not cycle, you could have her hormone levels checked to see what’s going on. You may need to seek out a veterinarian with a special interest in reproductive issues.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  41. shayla harris says:

    I have a toy poodle that I got from a breeder. she’s been bred before, and she isn’t spayed. I also have a rat terrier male here who isn’t neutered. I want to have puppies, but I just want to know when it’s normal for her to have her heat cycles. Will I know she’s in heat when she wants to be around him more? She hates other dogs with a capital H, she’s so spoiled she thinks she’s human. When she lets him come near her without trying to rip his head off, is that when I know she’s ready?

  42. Doc says:

    Hello, Shayla,

    Given what you say about her attitude, she may or may not ever get all that receptive toward the male.

    In her heat cycle, her vulva (female parts) will normally become significatly larger or swollen for one or two days before the bloody discharge starts. You should make a habit of checking her a couple of times a week. That way you’ll know what she normally looks like down there, plus you’ll catch it when she’s beginning to change in her cycle.

    With a dominant, aggressive female, you sometimes have to take them to the male’s territory on another premises. Otherwise they feel that they should be defending their territory, rather than allowing the male to dominate them (at least for the mating act).

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  43. Jenni says:

    My fox terrier is 3 yrs old this is her third heat cycle. for the last three cycles, of which she has only seemed to have consistently one per year at the same time every year. Last year’s cycle mirrored this years in that it lasted for a few days of bleeding then ten days later the male was very interested. He is slightly smaller and seemed to have some difficulty linking up, so I’m not sure they were successful. However like last year she bleed again, much brighter red, about two weeks after the first show.

  44. Doc says:

    I believe that your best bet will be to work with your veterinarian to check her vaginal cytology regularly, and also her hormone levels to see when she is ovulating. This will make it easier to time the breeding and be sure nothing is wrong.

    Normally you can relay on the dogs to figure out “the right time”, but if her cycle is irregular, this may not work for you.

    You should consult your regular veterinarian about this.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  45. Lynette says:

    I have a male and a female collie. I have put them alone for a few days. My male is now no longer interested in the female. Do they do that after they mate?

  46. Doc says:

    Lynnette,

    Generally, the male remains interested even after the female ovulates and quits being receptive. Her pheromones are still present, and she remains attractive to the male, even though she will not be receptive to his advances.

    If the female was aggressive towards him when he tried to mate, that can definitely cause him to lose interest. This is especially true for a young male who has no previous breeding experience.

    In general, take the female to the male’s territory, starting on day 9 of her cycle (where day 1 is first day of bloody discharge).

    Ideally, let the male’s first experience be with a more experienced, receptive female.

    I hope this helps.
    Thanks for reading and writing.

  47. brandy says:

    i have a dachshund puppy, she will be a year in november and she is starting her second heat. is that normal? it doesn’t seem that long since her last heat most likely 4months. not exectly sure that it was 4 months ago. thanks
    brandy

  48. ashley says:

    I have a female maltese/poodle mix and a male springer spaniel. I recently caught them “tied”. Im concerned that he’s too big for her and that perhaps the puppies might be too big to come out of her. Being that she only weighs about 6 pounds and he weighs about 30. Also due to my lack of responsibility, they were tied twice in two days. Is this unhealthy for her? And today she was vomiting frequently. The tying happened 4 days ago. What do i expect?

  49. D. says:

    hey, I have an Akita/LAB mix she is about less then 11 months old (her estimated birthday is in late August)and she is acting a little abnormal than usual, does this mean her first heat is coming?

    Thanks
    ~D.

  50. Doc says:

    Hello, Brandy,

    It is very common for the first heat cycle or two to be irregular. Her cycles may start to come at six-month intervals as she matures. If they do not, you should consult your veterinarian. Chances are, things will settle out on their own and you really don’t have a problem.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  51. Doc says:

    Hello, Ashley,

    The size of the puppies at birth is governed by the size of the mother and the number she conceives. If she has several puppies, they should be small enough to deliver. If she only conceives one pup, he will be a big rascal, and it is very likely she would have trouble delivering the puppy.

    At 30 days, an ultrasound can detect pregnancy, but is not so great for counting the puppies. Their skeletons have enough calcium to show up on an X-ray during the last 10 days or so of pregnancy, and you can count them and evaluate their size (compared to mom’s birth canal) at that time.

    The vomiting is not a normal part of the process. If she is having continuing problems with this, you should absolutely take her to see your veterinarian.

    She should have a prenatal checkup at 4 to 5 weeks post-breeding.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  52. Doc says:

    Hello, D,

    I wish I could give you an accurate answer to your question. If she is beginning her heat cycle, you will most likely soon see swelling of the vulva and the onset of bloody discharge.

    If she continues to “act funny”, get her to her veterinarian for a checkup. I once had a German Shepherd patient who developed a terrible uterine infection before she was even one year old. She had never been bred, and had to have a hysterectomy on an emergency basis. She had been “acting funny” for a few days, then developed a vaginal discharge of heavy pus.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  53. mushtaq shah says:

    his is highly knowledgeable and benifisial to reed you.specialy in country where canine vets are not advanced.Congradulations.My question is can we crossbreed Dog with HINA.Hope to get answar by e mail

  54. Rebecca says:

    I have a Maltese she went threw her bleeding cycle about 7 days on day 9-12 I took her to the male to breed they got together about 9 times. A week later I have noticed a straw color blood coming out what could that be? Thanks

  55. Doc says:

    Hello, Rebecca,

    I am having a hard time visualizing the discharge you describe. A vaginal discharge at this time would be unusual. I would suggest that you let yo veterinarian perform a vaginal cytology examination to evaluate this.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  56. Mista T says:

    Okay i have a Female 2 Year Old Brindle Pit Bull, I Wanna Breed Her Wit A 12 Month Old Blue Pit, The Females Next Heat Should come in Nov. is There anyway she could be forced in 2 heat sooner??

  57. Doc says:

    Hello, Mista T,

    Man, it’s been a long time since “The A-Team”.

    If you’ll check about the third comment on that post, you’ll see a note about using cabergoline. My personal opinion is that it will be a lot of extra trouble, but it’s your money. For best resutls, find a veterinarian who is doing breeding work on a regular basis.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  58. Sandy says:

    Would you please let me know what the dosage would be for a Pekingese about 13 pounds
    if I were to use Cabergoline
    to cycle her.
    I have heard very good things about this drug for dog’s that don’t cycle
    Thank you
    Sandy

  59. Doc says:

    Hello, Sandy,

    To answer your question, no. BECAUSE…

    A. I’d have to look it up, and I’m lazy.
    B. I’ve never seen your pet and so I can’t prescribe for her.
    C. It’s a prescription medicine and you shouldn’t be able to buy it without a prescription from a veterinarian who sees your pet regularly so that you have the FDA-prescribed doctor-client-patient relationship.
    D. You need a doctor experienced with using the stuff to advise you, and that doctor needs to be seeing your dog.

    SO, get off the internet and go see your veterinarian.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  60. Christina says:

    I have a jack russell female who is about 1 1/2 old and has yet to come into heat, just wanted to know if this is normal or not. Have had one before and had no problem coming into heat.

  61. Doc says:

    Hello, Christina,

    Eighteen months is pretty old for a first heat cycle, but she may still come in on her own. One of my own dogs was sixteen months before she had her first noticeable cycle. Sometimes the very first cycle isn’t very noticeable, a so-called “silent heat”. There are some bitches that just don’t crank out much hormone level.

    If she doesn’t cycle on her own, my personal preference would be to spay her. A reproductive specialist may be able to sort out why she isn’t cycling and help you to successfully breed her. On the other hand, the purpose of breeding is to produce fitter, healthier dogs. If a dog can’t reproduce without a medical specialist, maybe she’s not the best candidate for breeding.

    Look at the English Bulldogs: most are conceived only by artificial insemination and delivered only by C-section. This is a bizarre situation, and hardly good for the breed.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  62. Pamela says:

    Hello I have a Great Dane that is on her 13th day of bleeding and it is still very very heavy. She can lay down and within 10 mins. there is a puddle. This is her 3rd heat cycle and she did this in her last heat. Can you please help me out? I tried to breed her last heat cycle but the male couldnt tie with her. He kept coming out for some unknown reason and she is still not wanting the male to touch her at this time but like I said it is her 13th day. Thanks For your help.

  63. Doc says:

    Hello, Pamela,

    I’m thinking you need to talk to your veterinarian about measuring this dog’s hormone levels during her cycle so that you can predict her time of ovulation. Vaginal cytology should be monitored also. She obviously doesn’t have a “typical” heat cycle and if neither you nor the male dog can get the right time pinned down, it’s going to take a little more work to get things done.

    I’m no reproductive specialist, but I’ll bet your regular veterinarian knows how to get a consultation with one.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  64. Brenda says:

    i got a 18 month old sheltie 11 days ago and she was bleeding and seems to be in heat. She had pups on june 19 2008. She has been bleeding since we got her. Her vagina is not swelling. Is this normal? My male is paying some attention to her but not a massive amount. She is happy and seems to be healthy. should i be concerned. We want to breed her but dont know if her not swelling is normal. Thank You

  65. Doc says:

    Hello, Brenda,

    Most dogs cycle at six-month intervals. If she whelped on June 19, that would put her previous cycle about two months before that. Therefore, you wouldn’t expect her to have another cycle before October. If she has been bleeding continuously since you got her, I would suspect either a uterine/vaginal infection that occurred post-birth, or uterine sub-involution.

    Uterine sub-involution means that the uterus just fails to go back to its normal non-pregnant state. It stays a little enlarged, and keeps secreting nutrient material. Some dogs will discharge all the way until their next cycle with no problem.

    This dog needs to go to you veterinarian for a vaginal cytology exam, complete blood count, +/- an ultrasound exam to rule out infection. This does not sound like a normal heat cycle.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  66. kari says:

    Hi,
    I have a female and male that are 3 years and my female is not in heat but the male keeps trying to mate. The male got ahold of her even though she is not in heat and my female is now bleeding alittle I was wondering if this is normal or should I take he to the vet and keep them apart until she goes into heat so he doesnt try to breed her again. They are both Chihuahua’s.

  67. Doc says:

    Hello, Kari,

    It is not uncommon for dogs to mount one another as a dominance display, but NOT with actual penetration.

    I would suggest that you have your female examined by your veterinarian to evaluate any trauma that may have occurred. Also, females who are not in heat may be attractive to males if they have some other type of vaginal odor. Urinary tract infections, vaginal infections and so forth should be checked for and ruled out.

    If the male is just too enthusiastic, you may indeed need to separate them.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  68. Helen says:

    Can you help me,I have a Stit zu who is 3yrs old.She had one pup in Oct 07,she did come into heat in Feb with very little blood discharge,she appeared to come into Heat in August this yr but no blood discharge.Can you give me some advice as I want to mate her again.

  69. susan says:

    I am attempting to breed my beagles. The problem is that my female absolutely refuses to mate with my male. She will come in the house and does all that she could to mate with my male basenji. She will also attempt to mate with my female basenji when they are outside together. When put with our beagle, she will aggressively chase him away. Any advice most welcomed!

  70. Doc says:

    Hello, Helen,

    Ask you veterinarian about monitoring the dog’s vaginal cytology and hormone levels during her next cycle. This will help you to pinpoint her time of ovulation. If she will not stand for the male at that time, you can consider artificial insemination.

  71. Doc says:

    Hello, Susan,

    It sounds like there is a social hierarchy problem here. When two dogs are not pen-mates, we usually recommend taking the female to the male’s territory. If you have a dominant female, and you take the male to HER territory, she may get caught up defending her turf instead of listening to her hormones.

    It sounds like she is used to bossing this male, so when he makes advances she is treating it as a challenge to her place in the pecking order.

    You might consider taking her to another male. If you really want this particular mating, you might ask you veterinarian for a sedative for the female. You might have to muzzle her and restrain her.

    Good luck.

  72. Cas says:

    hi, I have a female lab and she came on heat early this season(on july 8th she started spotting) we had an unexpected mating on 24th July (oops) but we tended to think this was too late? since then she is quite big, her teats have swollen- but has no milk to be expressed, today sept 4th she is digging and has a few clear fluid drips from her vulva. her temp has dropped from 28.3 to 37.7. im thinking is she further than we think (Expected 25th Sept from late mating on 24th) but now would be only 58 days from the first day of bleeding- is it possible to be fertile before the bleeding?

  73. Doc says:

    Hello, Cas,

    It would certainly be unusual to be fertile prior to onset of pro-estrual bleeding. It is possible that your dog is undergoing false pregnancy phenomena, but it would be best to get an ultrasound exam (at six weeks there probably isn’t enough calcium in the puppy skeletons to show up on X-rays).

  74. stephanie says:

    hi
    i bought a 15 month old english bulldog girl about two weeks ago. i think the previous owner said she had a season at about 11/12 months of age. a week ago she started to bleed and then today she has stopped bleeding. is it normal for her to have such a short period of time in between this season and the last and also is the bleeding lasting for only a week normal. thanks if theres any answers you can give me
    take care.

  75. Doc says:

    Hello, Stephanie,

    A young dog’s first cycles are often irregular, so the short period of time between cycles (three months versus the average of six months)is not unusual at this age.

    The cycle typically has three phases, remember, the coming-in, the being-in (the fertile period), and the going-out. Each of these last seven to nine days on average. Therefore, seven days of bleeding during pro-estrum (the coming-in). It is after the bleeding stops that you enter the fertile period.

    Most English Bulldogs are not able to mate with natural service. The male’s front end is too large and heavy to enable him to mount properly. This is why most are bred with artificial insemination. The large head and tiny pelvis also usually render the female unable to give birth without a C-section. This means that timing of ovulation is really important so that you can pinpoint the day for the C-section.

    You need to get with your veterinarian to talk about hormone monitoring and so forth when you actually get ready to breed her.

    I’d probably skip this cycle since she really isn’t mature yet. Don’t let the Chihuahua jump her bones, though, because she certainly COULD get pregnant. Keep her safely chaste for the next two weeks anyway.

    If you’re planning to breed this dog, you need to develop a good working relationship with your veterinarian ahead of time.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  76. denise says:

    I am breeding mini aussies and my own mini aussie is in heat and I have a customer dog that is here and in heat also. I have been leaving the male in with both because they get
    along well. is this ok, will he mate both as they are ready?
    thanks
    denise

  77. Doc says:

    Hello, Denise,

    I would have two concerns.

    If the client dog were carrying any disease, this would be a perfect way to infect both of your own dogs. If she has been tested negative for Brucella and has a clean bill of health otherwise, then this is a non-issue.

    The second concern would be that if the male is servicing even one dog every day (much less two), the concentration of sperm may drop a little. Thus your conception rate might be a little lower than if he were breeding one bitch every 48 hours. This may not be much of a problem, but is something to consider.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  78. Doc says:

    Hello, Brenda,

    “Silent heat” means that the dog is cycling and ovulating and is fertile, but you don’t notice anything outwardly. She doesn’t spot, doesn’t swell, doesn’t change her behavior.

    If the male dog can figure out that she’s ready (and she IS ready), then it should be safe to breed her at this time.

    The difficulty is in identifying when a silent heat is occurring. Dogs in this situation often require hormone level monitoring, or the induction of heat using cabergoline so that you will know when she is ovulating.

    Good luck.

  79. Sue says:

    My female English Bulldog had her last heat cycle Nov. 2007. She had a healthy litter of puppies in January 2008. After delivery, we found out she had a small heartworm infection and underwent the IV treatment. It is now almost one year since her last heat cycle. Pups whelped in January, IV treatment in February..would that have “thrown off” her cycle? ALSO, let this be fair warning to all dog/cat owners..my female only missed two months of Heartgard in the summer of 2007..that is all it took for her to get an infestation…that was a very unfortunate, yet valuable (both financially and emotionally for us), lesson. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO REMEMBER TO ADMINISTER HEARTWORM PREVENTATIVE TO YOUR PETS!!

  80. Doc says:

    Hello, Sue,

    Usually the immiticide treatment doesn’t disrupt things, but any kind of major stress could disrupt the ovarian cycle. I would suggest contacting your veterinarian for help in finding a reproductive specialist who can suggest a protocol for assessing your dog’s hormone situation.

    As to your missing a dose of heartworm preventive, I feel your pain. We are seeing quite a few large-breed, outside dogs who have gotten a small number of heartworms, even though they have never missed a dose (including my own dog).

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  81. Doc says:

    Hello, Brenda,

    Coprophagia is the “scientific” term for the eating of feces. It is a common vice of puppies, which most fortunately grow out of.

    As with any other undesirable behavior, scolding (or any type of punishment)is useless unless you catch them in the act.

    There is a commercial product called “For-bid” that can be mixed with the food. Adolph’s meat tenderizer can also be used. For some dogs, this will make their feces unpalatable enough to discourage the coprophagia.

    You may just have to invest in a toothbrush.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  82. Brenda says:

    i think my 3 and a half lb female chihuahua bred to my 3and a half pound male. This is her first heat and was a accidental breeding (not for sure). My worry is she too little and to young to have been bred. What is the chance that she would have trouble having the pups.

  83. Doc says:

    Hello, Brenda,

    Very small dogs are more likely to have trouble giving birth, regardless of their age and maturity. The birth canal is very small, so it’s a tight squeeze and mom may not be able to push hard enough.

    In the Chihuahua, the puppies often have big round heads, and this makes it more difficult to get through the birth canal.

    The size of the pups at birth depends more on the size of mom and the number she conceives, rather than on the influence of the father.

    If she has 3 or 4 pups, they are usually small and not too hard to deliver. If she just has one or two, then they get all the nutrition for a whole litter, and may be too large to come through the birth canal.

    About four weeks after the mating, you should take her to your regular veterinarian for a prenatal checkup (ultrasound can detect the pregnancy very accurately by then, though it’s not so good for counting the puppies).

    Another checkup about 8 weeks after mating is needed. At this time, the puppies will show up on X-rays. You can count them, as well as get a feeling for how big they are in relation to the birth canal.

    This second checkup will give your veterinarian a chance to review the birth process, signs of trouble, and what to do.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  84. April says:

    I have a chow dog, she had her first litter of pups on New Years Eve and her 2nd litter in August and she is already in heat again, is that ok? I thought it was way too soon. She was actually stuck with the male today which is how i know she is for sure in heat. Can someone tell me is this ok and is it safe?

  85. Doc says:

    Hello, April,

    If you count the months, you will see that your dog is cycling about every six months, which is normal. Two months of gestation means that she was in heat in June for the August litter. June plus six months is December, and here we are.

    Is it good for her to have a litter every six months? This depends on her general condition and how difficult it is for her to raise the puppies. Personally, I’d give her some time off.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  86. kym says:

    Hi there,
    I am attempting to breed my male with a friends female. They are both first-timers.
    Her owners are unsure of the first day of her heat, but it seemed as though she had stopped bleeding yesterday.
    She was very unreceptive the day before yesterday and last night she accepted him.
    I had her spend the night last night and I am pretty sure they tied twice. Today however, they are courting, and he humps her but I don’t think there is penetration.
    Also I noticed she had a small amount of bloody discharge this morning. I was under the impression that she would not be ready untill the bleeding stopped. Would she have accepted him if she wasn’t “ready”? Also, is there anything I can do to help them tie, or should I just let them be? What do you think the chances are that she is already pregnant?
    Thanks so much!

  87. Doc says:

    Hello, Kym,

    All of the things that we list as general rules about the heat cycle are just that: general rules. Individual dogs may vary.

    You are correct in that most dogs enter their fertile (and receptive) period about the time that the pro-estrual bleeding stops. It is possible that she accepted the male a little early. It is also possible that the discharge is due to a mild breeding-related trauma.

    If the dogs are getting along okay, I would let them handle things on their own as much as possible. The “tie” is desirable, but not 100% necessary for conception.

    Since you have not been following the vaginal cytology with your veterinarian, it is hard to tell where she is in her heat cycle.

    As with people, you don’t always get pregnant “the first time”, but sometimes you do. Ideally you would let them mate at least every other day until she is no longer receptive.

    I hope this is helpful to you.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  88. Sue G says:

    I have an 19 month old boxer bitch, who I am actively campaigning to her AKC championship. The first day of showing color for her second season was 10/18/08. This afternoon, while relaxing on the bed with her, I noticed swollen nipples and low and behold she has milk – and not just a drop. She apparently had a false pregnancy and the timing is right that she would have had her puppies within the last week. I know that this will clear up on its own but she is due to be shown in 2 weeks. I will be taking her to the vet on Monday but I’m impatient and was wondering about the safety of cabrgoline in the treatment of false pregnancy/production of milk. I do not want to do anything that is not safe. I do not want to adversely affect her health, nor her future breedings. She hasn’t nested nor has she ‘adopted’ any ‘puppies’ – just this darn milk production.

  89. Jen says:

    My Italian Greyhound is in her third heat. It is approx the 12th day I believe. For the last few days, we have been trying to get she and our male to mate, but she is not receptive to him. There was another dog the other night around the backyard and she moved her tail to the side for him. Could she just be refusing our male?

  90. Doc says:

    Hello, Sue,

    I’m no expert on the efficacy of cabergoline in resolving the lactation issue. I do think it is safe, though.

  91. Doc says:

    Hello, Jen,

    It is possible that the female doesn’t find her yard-mate attractive. It is also possible that there are other issues, such as which of them is higher in the dominance hierarchy.

    If she is accustomed to being the boss dog, allowing the male to mount her would be contrary to that. A male who is not part of the everyday social order might not have that drawback.

    Generally speaking, we have better results taking the female to the male’s territory, rather than vice versa. SO, if your yard is HER territory, this can be a problem.

    It’s possible that she just isn’t ready yet, so I would ask your veterinarian to check a vaginal cytology to help evaluate that.

    You might have to take her to another male.

  92. Sherry says:

    I’m in the process of of breeding my 2&1/2 with a 4 yr. old Rottie. the problem with the male Rottie, is that he humps on her gor a little, and then stops. Is that normal?

  93. Doc says:

    Hello, Sherry,

    Has the male successfully been used for breeding before?

    If not, you need to find him a super-cooperative female for his first outing. The bitch you are working with may not be standing well for him. You want a bitch who is really standing well, a successful breeder, and not particular about her boyfriends.

    It is also possible that he has some anatomical difficulty, so he should have a good physical examination if he has not had one already.

    It is also important to be sure that the bitch is fully in estrum, and actually ready to stand for breeding. Your veterinarian can help you determine this with a vaginal cytology exam and/or hormone tests.

    Good luck.

  94. Brenda says:

    how do i recognize a cleft pallett in a chihuahua new born puppy. I have one that is about 24 hours old and she seams not to be able to close her mouth and her tounge seems to stay up to the top of her mouth, she weighs 1 3/4 oz. What is the best way to treat this puppy. Thank You

  95. Doc says:

    Hello, Brenda,

    Cleft palate means that there is a hole in the roof of the mouth. It may be small or it may look like a “slot” running lengthwise in the roof of the mouth. The problem it creates is that when the puppy nurses, milk goes into the nasal passages through this hole.

    Get a good light and just take a look at the roof of the mouth.

    Surgical correction is possible, but unlikely to be successful in such a young, and tiny, pup.

    I really cannot advise you about this pup’s condition long-distance. If it is possible to save it, you will need to see your veterinarian in person.

    Thanks for reading and writing, and good luck.

  96. Jennifer says:

    Hi,

    I have a 14 month old bitch who’s had a very difficult to interpret 1st heat cycle to stay the least (vulvar swelling for 7-10 days, followed by 3 days of VERY light spotting, followed by nothing.) I also have a 7 month old male. He has occasionally acted interested and tried to mouunt her (usually in the wrong place.) Several people have told me it’s not possible for a 7 month old male to impregnate her. Is that true? (We are now assuming she’s truly in heat in despite o the above because a 5 year old dog attempted to breed her when we took her out today.)
    Thanks.

  97. Doc says:

    Hello, Jennifer,

    The first cycle is often irregular, so keep a close eye on her for another two weeks, at least.

    A seven-month old male may indeed be fertile. He may need a more experienced female for HIS first experience, but don’t count on his age as your sole method of birth control.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  98. jennifer says:

    I have a boxer female she just had puppies 10 of them 6 months ago shes in heat again is it ok to breed her 6 months after having puppies or should i wait untill her next cycle

  99. Doc says:

    Hello, Jennifer,

    A lot depends on the physical condition of your dog. If she had no trouble nursing the pups, has gained all her weight back, and looks and feels great, then you shouldn’t have a problem.

    If her condition is not back 100%, then it would be best to give her a rest, skipping a cycle, so that she has one litter per year, rather than two.

    There are commercial breeders for whom “pups are money”, therefore they breed as often as possible. There are “serious breeders” (read “hobby breeders”) who don’t want to wear their dog out, so wouldn’t even consider breeding twice yearly.

    A lot depends on the condition of the dog, as I said. It’s a judgment call.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  100. Curt says:

    I am interested in breeding my beagle. She is 3 years old and has never been in heat. Is there anything I can do to bring her in heat?

  101. Doc says:

    Hello, Curt,

    Scroll down through the comments and read the stuff about Cabergoline.

    I must say that a dog who has never come in heat in three years would have to be classified as a “problem breeder”.

    You are going to need the services of a veterinarian who has a special interest in this sort of thing. It may be necessary to follow the dog’s hormone levels regularly for some months to determine what (if anything) her ovaries are doing.

    Sorry I can’t fix this one over the phone.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  102. emma says:

    hi i have a 2 year old lab she came in to heat 10jan 09. we mated her on 20th jan two days after the bleeding had stopped. it now been a week since mating took place and iv noticed she is bleeding again. is this normal. she is fine in herselfbut im a bit worried the stud dog may have done some damage while mating. (although she never made any noise while intercourse or tried took place)
    thanks emma

  103. Doc says:

    Hello, Emma,

    If the bleeding doesn’t stop in a day or two, then I would have your dog examined by your veterinarian. Trauma at breeding is relatively rare, but it can sure happen.

    Good luck.

  104. Tina says:

    I have a male that is 10yrs old and has never been fixed or exposed to a female in heat, can he still be bred and will he know what to do? If he doesn’t respond to her is there something we could do to help?

  105. Doc says:

    If you are determined to save this guy’s genetic material, you will need an experienced and cooperative female.

    His fertility is uncertain and he may have a low sperm count.

    It is possible that you will need to collect semen and perform artificial insemination, as he may just not be able to figure it out at this late stage of life.

    I would advise you to seek the help of a veterinarian who deals regularly with breeding issues.

    Good luck

  106. Janell says:

    I have a beagle that is 18 months old. She seemed that she was starting her heat cycles @ 5 months old. I took her to a vet and he told me that it was not a true heat cycle. Well on July 8, 2008 she had her first real cycle. I took her to the vet again for confirmation and he agreed. She has had a complete workup of tests and is a healthy, breedable dog. We were wanting to breed her during this next cycle, but for some reason it’s now 7 months past the last heat cycle and she hasn’t went into heat again. Why is that? What can we do? We already have the stud lined up and ready to go.

  107. Doc says:

    Hello, Janell,

    Many young dogs have irregular heat cycles. The “every six months” thing is not written in stone. Since she has had one normal cycle after one that was weird I would be pretty confident that she will soon have a normal cycle.

    If not, you may want to talk to your veterinarian about having her hormone levels checked. I wouldn’t get too worried about it at this point. It may be another month or so and be perfectly normal.

    Good luck.

  108. Angela Duncan says:

    Hello,

    My dog was in heat a few weeks ago and we tried to keep her seperated from our male dog but lo and behold they got together somehow. They mated and tied only once during her cycle but we’re not sure how many days into it, and we don’t want her to have puppies but we have no way of telling if she’s pregnant. We’d take her to the vet if we could but we seriously can’t afford the cost of it at the current financial state we’re in. So other than giving me advice on what to do, can you also answer another question. This would be her third litter in a row unfortunately, only the first of them being planned, and I’ve heard that if an animal continues to get pregnant and give birth so quickly like this that she and her offspring are at a high risk of dying. Is this true? Please let me know, I’m really worried, and like I said, I can’t even have anything done about it because of our financial situation. If I could, I would have had the male neutered long ago.

  109. Nicole says:

    I have an 8 month old mini Dachshund that just went into heat. Is it possible for her to have gotten pregnant by a lab/pointer mix?

  110. Doc says:

    Hello, Angela,

    It’s not easy to tell for sure whether the female is pregnant in the early stages. We don’t even consider ultrasound reliable until 28 days post-breeding.

    As to the dangers of having one litter after another, it’s more along the lines of the mother getting debilitated. When pregnant or nursing, she will sacrifice her own body to nourish the puppies. It’s not uncommon to see nursing bitches who are VERY thin by the time the pups are weaned.

    This can be largely avoided by feeding a high-quality, name-brand, puppy food during the last two to three weeks of pregnancy, and throughout the period when she is nursing heavily.

    Adult dog foods have indigestible filler added to them. Puppy foods have more calories, more protein, more calcium and so forth. The bowl of puppy food may have up to 50% more nutrition than the same size bowl of the same company’s adult formula food.

    Feeding the puppy food helps avoid some of the nutritional stress on the mom.

    I hope this is helpful to you.

  111. Doc says:

    Hello, Nicole,

    While this seems unlikely, I don’t rule out anything in that department in any more.

    I have seen the offspring of a Dachshund/Collie mating where the Collie was the mother. Nobody saw the action, but I’m sure it would have gone viral on You-Tube.

    If she JUST came into heat, then it is unlikely that she would allow mating, and she wouldn’t be fertile yet. She would not ovulate until at least a week after the blood discharge started (as a general rule).

    Protect her from those tramp dogs.

    Good luck

  112. Kayla says:

    Hi! We have a male Rottweiler and he is 1 year and 5 months old. We recently were contacted by someone who has a female Rottweiler and wanted to use our dog as the stud. (We never used our dog for breeding before) We had him bring his dog over (she has had several litters already) the first time they were together our male wasn’t real interested, it took him awhile until he finally got it, but then they didn’t tie, he pulled out and “went” on the ground for about 5 min. What would cause him to do this? Should I take him to a vet and have him checked out or is this common at all? We decided to try again 2 days later, I took him to their place this time but he just wasn’t interested in her at all really, he just wanted to play. He did eventually mount her after we kinda had to pick his paws up and show him how to get on her but nothing more than that (“it” didn’t come out at all) We tried for about 1 1/2 hours, but he just doesn’t seem real interested, still would rather just play or nosey around at everything.. Do you think it might be because he’s too young yet, or maybe she’s not ready enough?? When we had him over there this last time the female did have a little real red blood that came out of her. Any advice I’d really appreciate, our dog is a great dog and we’d love to see him pass on his great genetics! Thanks!!

  113. Doc says:

    Hello, Kayla,

    It would be worthwhile to have your veterinarian check out your dog to rule out medical problems.

    It is possible that he still is just a bit too much of a puppy and will show more interest as he matures.

    Generally speaking, it works better to bring the female to the male’s territory, rather than the other way around.

    It is also important to be sure that the female is in the receptive phase of her cycle. Your veterinarian can help with this by checking vaginal cyctology and/or hormone levels. Alternatively (if that service is not available) you can use the “average numbers”. If you count the first day of “spotting” as day #1, then one would begin breeding on day 9, breeding every other day while the female remains receptive.

    In the event that your male never gets things figured out, then his genes may not be as fabulous as we might like them to be. You could consider artificial insemination at that point.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  114. danabinns@hotmail.com says:

    Hello,
    My name is sarah,I have a female frenchbulldog who is 2 years old she is in her 3 heat cycle,she stop bleeding on the 11 and 12th day and now she is bleeding again I also have a male french bulldog Im wondering if he got on her and caused some damnage.Please help I real worried.

  115. Doc says:

    Hello, Sarah,

    It is very unusual for the act of breeding to cause damage to the female, but it is possible. It is also possible that she is having an irregular heat cycle.

    Has she been bred before? It is also possible that she has something abnormal in her vaginal canal that makes breeding difficult.

    You really need to let your veterinarian perform a vaginoscopic exam.

    Good luck.

  116. jess bartlett says:

    hi, i have a staffy she is 9 months old and had her first heat a month ago, she was put on the drug OVARID to stop her from falling pregnant because i could not seperate her from my other dog.it has only been 5 weeks and she is back on heat. i know this is not normal. the vet does not no how this is possible either.

  117. Doc says:

    Hello, Jess,

    Ovarid is megestrol acetate. In the United States this was marketed under the trade name Ovaban.

    We used to utilize this a lot in our practice, but not so much these days.

    This is a synthetic analog of the hormone progesterone, which maintains pregnancy. One of its effects is to stop the ovaries from cycling, which is why you give it.

    With Ovaban, we used it in one of two ways. If the dog was just beginning its estrus cycle (first or second day of swelling and blood spotting), the drug was given once daily for 8 days. If the dog was not cycling, we used 1/4 the calculated dose, but gave it once daily for 32 days (same total dose).

    In most female dogs, this would stop the estrus cycle. The dog would begin a new cycle in anywhere from two to twelve months later. While it was four to six months for most dogs, this was really not predictable.

    The recommended use was to be when you wanted to postpone the cycle and breed next time, or postpone the cycle and have a hysterectomy performed when the dog was not “in heat”.

    The drug was not recommended for repeated use. Indeed, repeated use predisposed the dog to developing “female trouble” (uterine problems).

    The drug’s effects could not always be predicted for a particular dog. You are monkeying with the hormone system and it is not an exact science. First heat cycles are often irregular, even when no treatments are being used.

    We urge our patients to either separate the dogs or have the female spayed (ovario-hysterectomy).

    If breeding has already taken place, the use of megestrol acetate would not be indicated. It is primarily used before or at the very beginning of the heat cycle.

    While I am no authority on either dog-breeding or pharmacology, this has been my experience using this drug over a number of years. Your veterinarian who is actually seeing your dog is always your best source of information.

    Good luck.

  118. slr61904 says:

    I have a male & female Mini Schnauzer. The female is 3 1/2 and has had one litter. The male will be 2 in May and I am trying to breed them. The female is in heat and ready and the male (this is his first time) is really having a hard time getting to her. He is all over her expect where he should be. Is there something I can to do help him or will he figure it out?

  119. Doc says:

    If the cycle is past 9 days and the female is standing well for the male, you could try assisting him to get lined up.

    Alternatively, he may indeed figure it out eventually, but perhaps not soon enough to sire puppies this time.

    If he is unable to mate, even with help, and you feel that his genetic material is still what you want, talk to your veterinarian about artificial insemination.

    Good luck.

  120. Bhavini Dattani says:

    Hi!

    I have a 11 month old dog. She went into heat for the first time last month. i.e FEB. Unfortunately, the maid let her out and a nearby dog mated with her. She still continued to bleed for another 1 half week after the mating. And we made sure she did not mate again. (although it maght have happened again.) Its been nearly a month since she stopped bleeding. And for the past 5 days she has not been eating well and has been lazing around. Although she has always been a lazy dog! Her nipples are slightly pink but i cant seem to tell if they have grown.

    We had consulted a Vet, who tested her urine 3 weeks after her cycle was done, and said she was not pregnant. But from what i see, I think she could be. As we live in Tanzania, we don`t have profesional vets and i cant get good answers to my questions. Please tell me what u think from the story i gave u.

    Thanks much.

    Bhavini.

  121. Doc says:

    Hello, Bhavini,

    Female dogs go through the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy, even when they are not exposed to a male. This can result in changes that outwardly resemble pregnancy, such as swelling of the mammary glands. In extreme cases (called pseudocyesis or “false pregnancy”), the bitch’s abdomen may drop and she may develop milk in her udder. When the puppies do not arrive, she becomes distressed and adopts a toy or house-shoe or something as her “baby”.

    Thus, some minor outward changes several weeks after breeding do not necessarily mean that she is pregnant. If your veterinarian has done lab work that says she is not pregnant, then that seems reasonable to me.

    An ultrasound exam would give you further confirmation, if that were available.

    Often we, as veterinarians, believe that we are doing a splendid job in explaining something, when in fact we are not. If my client will let me know that they still have questions, I am happy to try to spend more time. It can be difficult to explain something in five minutes that one has spent hours in studying.

    Speak to your veterinarian about your concerns.

    Good luck.

  122. Kristy says:

    Hiya,

    I have a mini poodle who is nearly 4 years old. She has been on heat 3 times so far, each time 5 months apart. She was due to come on heat again in early February, however she still has not come on. The problem is that we were planning on breeding with her this time and I’m now becoming quite anxious!

    We have recently moved house – my Dad has told me that this could have caused her some “stress” which could be why she has been delayed in coming on. Is this true? Should I be doing anything?

    Cheers, Kristy

  123. Niki says:

    I have a Shih Tzu that had puppies the 28th of December 2008. This was her first litter. Her heat cycle was around the 30th of October. If her heat cycles are normal when I should be expecting her to have her next heat cycle.

  124. Doc says:

    Hello, Kristy,

    It is indeed possible that the stress of changing households has caused some irregularity in your dog’s hormone cycles.

    While there are hormone and drug combinations to start a cycle, I would recommend that you just wait for nature to take its course. Since she has had several normal cycles already, it is likely that her cycles will resume.

    I am a little troubled by your statement that she has had “3 cycles”. Ordinarily a 4-years old dog would have had six or more cycles (approximately every six months). Did she begin cycling late in life, or were you just referring to her last three cycles?

    If she had been cycling normally up to now, I would be optimistic that heat cycles will resume on their own.

    Good luck

  125. Doc says:

    Hello, Niki

    Gestation in the dog is usually about 63 days – about two months or nine weeks. Heat cycles are usually about six months apart. Six minus two equals four, so about four months after whelping.

    If she whelped on December 28th, then you’d expect her next cycle around the end of April.

    If she’s in great shape after weaning her puppies, it’s okay to breed again. If she doesn’t seem to have fully recovered her weight and condition after nursing, it would probably be better to skip this cycle and breed on the next one.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  126. Lisa says:

    My healthy, active 20 month old basset hound has never had an estrus cycle. I paid $680 for her and planned to breed her to my champion bloodline male. I called her breeder to share my concern over this. She told me this isn’t unusual and I should wait awhile longer. Am I being lied to?

  127. Doc says:

    Hello, Lisa,

    I wouldn’t say that this is common, but certainly not unheard of. My own Rottweiler (about 25 years ago) was 16 months old before her first cycle. The first cycle can be irregular and dogs may experience a “silent heat”. This means that their ovaries crank up and make the hormones and ovulate, but at such a low level that you don’t see external swelling, no bloody discharge, and they are not receptive to the male.

    I did a search on Veterinary Information Network and found a discussion where a reproductive expert had addressed this question. They don’t get excited unless the dog passes her 24 month birthday without an estrus.

    If she still shows no sign of cycling, there isn’t just a single test that will help. There is a process of testing, that starts with a Minimum Database(UA, chem panel, CBC, thyroid profile) and a progesterone level. If all are normal, then progress to ultrasound exam of ovaries and uterus.

    If these are all normal, then you can try karyotyping (looking for chromosome abnormalities, a blood sample is sent to Texas A&M, but this is unlikely to be where the problem is). You can also try to induce estrus. This would best be done by a veterinarian who does a lot of reproductive work.

    So, you’ve still got a few months before panic sets in. Then you need to get in touch with a reproductive specialist (or a veterinarian with at least a special interest in reproduction medicine).

    Good luck.

  128. crystal says:

    what are the risk of breeding during her first cycle, is it dangerous? why? I have a female lhasa apso thx

  129. Damian Stalls says:

    I have a to poodle ~10lbs that just started her first cycle. Today is day 4 since the bleeding started. Will the first time still be about 9 days? Also is it normal for her to be throwing up her food? Is there anything we can do to make this less stressful for her? We currently have her wearing pupsters.

  130. Doc says:

    Hello, Damian,

    The first heat cycle is often irregular. Seven to nine days is the average amount of time for each of the three phases of the cycle. It could be shorter or longer. Remember, it’s the middle phase when she will be fertile.

    Some dogs (rare)continue to be a little bloody even though they are ovulating, so don’t count on that as a “safe time”.

    You really don’t want her to get bred on her first cycle when she isn’t fully mature her own self. Keep her isolated from the males for four weeks.

    It is not normal for her to be throwing up her food. If she just vomits a little occasionally, it may just be a little nervous stomach. You could give her half a Pepsid AC once daily to control the excess acid. That’s pretty safe.

    If she is losing most of what she eats, then you need to take her to see her veterinarian. That is certainly not normal. Your veterinarian is the best person to check her over and advise you.

    Good luck.

  131. cnu_gurl says:

    Hello,
    My female dog is cuttently in heat. We also have a male dog who is cuttently going CRAZY for her. We keep him seperated in a different room. But he continously howls and barks. I know that this is normal but my question is. — In the first week of her cycle he did not act like this. He just started his behavior in the past few days. Will he continue t act this way until she is done? Or does it only last for the middle part of her cycle? Thanks!

    • Stephanie Henkle says:

      I am curious to hear how long your male was interested. Mine is non stop howling, totally uncontrollable and did not start this until her middle cycle. He is 13 so perhaps a little slow. How much longer will I have to endure this for?

      • Doc says:

        Hello, Stephanie,
        The males tend to be interested long after the females have lost their interest. They usually remain interested until the cycle is fully over, so it could be another 2 weeks.

  132. Doc says:

    Hello, Cnu Gurl,

    I guess I’m surprised that he wasn’t howling during the first week, too. I really can’t answer your question. I would expect him to continue to be “excited” until she is totally through with her cycle.

    Send me an update when she finishes. I’m interested to know what happens.

    Good luck.

  133. Nichole says:

    Hello. I just wanted to thank you for your little article here. I found it to be concise yet thorough and easy to understand. I have an unspayed female who I plan to show, hence she is not spayed yet. We’re still fairly new to all this so I’m currently researching methods of prevention including hormonal prevention besides the basic “keep them separated” – what are your thoughts on this? I plan on speaking with our regular vet about this tomorrow.

    Thanks for your insite. And thanks again for this article

    Nichole

  134. Doc says:

    Hello, Nichole,

    In years past we used LOTS of megestrol acetate (Ovaban).This is a synthetic analog of the hormone progesterone. Progesterone maintains pregnancy, and part of that is to stop the ovaries from cycling. Give 8 days in a row at first sign of estrum or 1/4 dose for 32 days when starting at a random time.

    Mibolerone is a synthetic androgen (male type hormone) which can be given on a continuous basis to keep the dog out of heat. It should not be given to immature dogs as it can mess up their bone maturation process (the growth plates). It is not readily available commercially and must be obtained from a compounding pharmacy.

    Reproductive specialists do not recommend screwing around with the dog’s hormones if you plan to use them for breeding later. They only use these medications to postpone the estrous cycle until a “better time” for spaying.

    I am glad that you plan to discuss this with your veterinarian, as he/she is the best person to advise you.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  135. Tammy says:

    Hi, I have a 3yr old female schnauzer and I don’t think she has gone into heat for over a year now. I would like to breed her and am wondering if i should take her to the vet for a check-up?

  136. Doc says:

    Hello, Tammy,

    I think that getting your dog a good general check-up would be the way to start.

    If she really has not been cycling for the past year, then the situation can be pretty complicated.

    You start by measuring hormone levels, and probably getting a good luck at her uterus and ovaries with an abdominal ultrasound exam.

    If no abnormalities are found, it may be possible to artificially stimulate an estrus cycle and ovulation. Your veterinarian can help you with this, or refer you to a specialist, if necessary.

    Good luck.

  137. bqueenb15@hotmail.com says:

    Hi, my name is Brandy and I’m trying to breed my boston terrier male who is very small to a much larger female boston. I don’t know if they will be able to tie due to the height factor. If they dont tie does that mean that she cant pregnant?

  138. Doc says:

    Hello, Brandy,

    It is not necessary for a “tie” to occur. As long as the sperm are delivered, conception can take place.

    It is a little hard to predict how these things will turn out, but I have seen puppies that were a Collie mixed with Dachshund, and the Dachshund was the father. Nobody witnessed the mating, but the dogs were neighbors, and the puppies sure looked the part.

    Good luck.

  139. darren says:

    i have 2 english bull terriers my bitch is 3 and my male is just over 1 and he is not intrested in her but she is very keen she keeps mounting him is there somthing wrong with him?

  140. Doc says:

    Hello, Darren,

    It sounds like your bitch is demonstrating social dominance by the mounting behavior. It is common for the “higher up” in the pack to mount the subordinate individuals in a display of social dominance. This is not really sexual behavior. It is often seen with spayed females, even.

    With the bitch being three years old, and the male just now turning one, it is highly likely that she has been the “pack leader”. He may never summon the courage to mount her, even if she is in strong, standing heat.

    At best, he may require some encouragement, and the female may have to be restrained.

    One always has better luck taking the female to the male’s territory, where he feels confident and dominant. That isn’t as likely to happen in this situation.

    Good luck.

  141. jaimie says:

    hi i have a 2yo male boxer and my sister has two female boxers that are also 2yo and on thier 2nd heat cycle but my male isn’t showing very much interest in either of them, he sniffs them out and gets a little aroused but then just starts playing with them. is there any reason for this? the bitches are now on day 9-10 of their cycle.

  142. Suzanne says:

    Hi i have to ask about my small jack russell bitch. She was in heat last february and now is in heat again. Can a dog force herself into heat beacuse of another bitch in heat. A few weeks ago a neighbour brought their dog aorund and she was in heat and she could get the scents of our other dog and the other bitch at work. Any solution to this? my family is totally bewildered.

  143. Doc says:

    Hello, Suzanne,

    If your dog was in heat in February, July is only a month early, based on the “every six months” average between cycles.

    The onset of heat is not something that the dog has any conscious control over.

    That being said, it is common for females housed together over a period of time to begin to cycle at the same time. In herd and pack animals, this makes sense. Everybody gets bred, delivers babies, and raises babies around the same time, so the babies are the same age. That way the herd/pack is not being slowed down by multiple various ages of offspring.

    Oddly enough, it is also reported that human female room-mates often begin to cycle at the same time after living together for a few months.

    It doesn’t sound like anything to be worried about.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  144. Taylor says:

    Hi, my 2 and a half year old beagle went in to heat in July. My friend’s mom forgot about her and left her outside with their male dog. When she remembered she ran out there and when she saw them she said they were standing nose to nose. She left them out there for almost an hour. After that she still continued to want to breed with their male dog. Can you tell if they bred or not?

  145. Doc says:

    Hello, Taylor,

    Your veterinarian can perform a vaginal cytology exam to determine if your dog is in the fertile stage of her heat cycle. If not, then breeding was unlikely.

    If she is in the fertile and receptive stage, then you would to do the exam almost immediately after the act of breeding if you wished to detect the presence of sperm.

    Next step: ultrasound exam at 28 days post-breeding (or possible breeding) to look for pregnancy.

    If you do not wish puppies (ever), then this is a good time to schedule the spay operation to get rid of the puppy works and quit worrying about this.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  146. Tonya says:

    My 8 month old husky is in her first heat….She is still bleeding… She went outside and found her stuck to a dog… Is it possible she is not pregnant since she is still bleeding????

  147. Doc says:

    Hello, Tonya,

    Yes, it is possible that she has been bred so early in the cycle that she has not ovulated yet. The sperm can live in the female’s reproductive organs for several days, though, so pregnancy is still possible.

    If she isn’t showing at 28 days, you could get an ultrasound examination to check for pregnancy.

    If you are sure that you do not want to breed her later, you could arrange to have her spayed ( a complete hysterectomy ) even though she has been bred.

    If you do wish to breed her later, and she does get pregnant, then you could ask your veterinarian about prostaglandin injections to abort the pregnancy. These are not dangerous, but they are not fun, either. The dog is treated twice daily for several days. After each injection, they usually urinate, have a bowel movement, and vomit. They feel okay afterwards, but it’s unpleasant.

    For right now, you should work harder at keeping her away from the males. If she doesn’t get pregnant from this breeding, you don’t want additional breedings.

    Good luck.

  148. Debbie says:

    My 2 year old male yorkie has not breeded yet, we have a friend that has a female yorkie that now is ready to mate. She backs up to him and flags her tail to the side. He sniffs
    her and seems to notice that something is different
    about her, but hasn’t tried to mate with her. What do we do?

  149. Doc says:

    Hello, Debbie,

    It is possible that the female is not fully into the receptive stage of estrum (heat), but it sounds as though she probably is.

    That means that your male is slow figuring out what’s going on.

    If you’re really set on getting puppies from this male, you may have to seek assistance from a veterinarian. The dog may figure things out in another day or so, but then again he may not. If the dog doesn’t “get it” on his own, your veterinarian can collect semen and artificially inseminate the female.

    If you wait too many day, the female will pass her fertile time, though. We usually try to start the breeding on day 9 (counting day 1 as the first day you notice the bloody vaginal discharge). A few days later she will ovulate, and soon it will be too late to breed her on this heat cycle.

    If the owner of the female is set on getting her bred this cycle, you may not have time to wait for your inexperienced male to figure things out. They may be better off to seek out a male with a proven track record.

    I don’t think showing doggy porno movies will help.

    Good luck.

  150. brandy says:

    Hello, I was wondering if it is ok to breed a female dog if it is her first heat cycle yet she is close to one year old. Or if I should wait for her second heat cycle. Thanks.

  151. Doc says:

    Hello, Brandy,

    Ideally, you would wait until her second cycle. If she is less than one year old, she is not fully mature herself. She will be more likely to have a successful pregnancy and nursing if she is fully mature.

    Lots of dogs get bred on their first cycle, but if you are planning this, you might as well plan for it to work out as well as possible.

    Good luck.

  152. kitty says:

    My puppy is a 6 month old poodle yorkie mix. My vet does not spay dog until they are at least 7 months old. She went into heat at about 6 months. She didn’t bleed very much. She weighs about 8 pounds. I noticed the discharge September 19. She got out the cat door on September 10. It is now September 28 – Her “tits” are a bit swollen. Is it possible for her to get pregnant before she bleeds. Her behavior has not changed. She is an energetic puppy.

  153. Doc says:

    Hello, Kitty,

    It is unlikely that your puppy was fertile at that time.

    All female dogs go through the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy even when they do not get exposed to a male. This is usually not detectable without a blood test. In other words, they don’t usually “look pregnant”.

    However, it is common for female dogs to have some breast enlargement after their heat cycle. Chances are that this is all you are seeing.

    Even if she had been bred, you can schedule her surgery for the week after she has finished her cycle. Even if she were pregnant, the pregnancy would be very small and would not substantially affect the difficulty of doing the surgery.

    If you intend to breed her later on, then you would wish to have an ultrasound exam done at day 28 post-breeding. If pregnancy were detected, it could be terminated with prostaglandin injections.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  154. Gene says:

    Hi, my question is my female has been in heat going out of her second week. the male has been mounting her but no tie has happened. Can she still get pregnant without there being a tie with them? My female is 3 yrs old and my male is 2 years old. he does mount her and preforms but it does not last for long only a few minutes.

    thanks

    Gene

  155. Doc says:

    Hello, Gene,

    In fact, it it is not necessary for a “tie” to occur in order for the female to conceive.

    We like to see a tie, as it makes us more sure that A: ejaculation has taken place, and B: the semen isn’t going to fall right out, since the dog is stuck in there like a cork.

    As for the intromission not lasting very long, it doesn’t have to.

    I’d get the female ultra-sounded at 28 days post-breeding.

    Good luck.

  156. Gene says:

    HI,

    thanks for the quick response to my question, I have another I am being told that the female private area stays swelled if she became pregnant during the mating. I am confused our last saint did not stay swelled in the private area and if she did it was not noticeable like when she is in heat at all.
    we did breed our saint we talked about above with no actual tie between the two but looks like her private area is returning to normal size now. she is on her 20th day of her heat cycle now and will not even let the male mount her at all now. in fact she tries to mount him now.
    She has always laid around but seems to me she is laying around even more now then before.
    thanks for all your information.

    Gene

  157. Doc says:

    Hello, Gene,

    The swelling of the vulva is of highly questionable significance, as it is highly variable between dogs. Other than the fact that it gets swollen while they are in heat, I would attach no significance to it.

    Some dogs stay swollen for weeks after their heat cycle and some do not. Means nothing.

    The mounting behavior of the female at this point is probably just dominant behavior, rather than sexual behavior. Again, this tells us nothing about her pregnancy or lack thereof.

    Get the ultrasound at 28 days.

    If she seems to be feeling bad, get her a checkup sooner. Sometimes infections develop post-breeding. Your veterinarian can do a vaginal cytology exam and blood count to assess this.

    Good luck.

  158. Elizabeth says:

    We are adopting a four year old 70 pound female American bull dog who has produced one liter but never cycled again and it is 8 months now.Do you think it is possible that she will cycle again and mate with our 18 month 100 pound American bull dog?

  159. Doc says:

    Hello, Elizabeth,

    It is possible that the dog’s cycles are just irregular. Some dogs do not cycle every six months.

    Also, some dogs have so-called “silent heats”, where they do not have obvious swelling and vaginal discharge. The male dog will be much more likely to detect estrum than you are. He has the nose and the motivation.

    It is possible to work with your veterinarian to look at the dog’s hormone levels, as well. This may require some consultation with a veterinarian who specializes in reproduction. I know that I would have to get some advice myself.

    You will want your veterinarian to check the dog for any obvious physical problems and rule those out first.

    If the female has successfully produced on litter then she certainly has the potential to do so again.

    Good luck.

  160. whitney says:

    I have a 10 year old Chihuahua and she usually goes in heat every six months, but she hasn’t gone in heat in about a year and I was woundering if you knew why???

  161. whitney says:

    oh and i have a saint bernard that will go crazy when shes in heat and it hasnt happen in the year, and shes never had a litter before.

  162. Doc says:

    Hello, Whitney,

    It is possible that the Chihuahua is old enough to just stop cycling, though some female dogs cycle until they die.

    If both dogs seem to feel good and seem to be doing well otherwise, then there may be no problem. Some dogs (like your St.Bernard maybe) do not always have a really obvious cycle. Some cycles are so-called “silent heats”. There hormones change, and they ovulate, but you don’t see much on the outside.

    If you are concerned, it would be best to have your veterinarian check out the dogs. He/she will probably want to do a complete blood count to check of evidence of a hidden infection in the uterus(and we hope there isn’t one). They may also ultra-sound the uterus to look for enlargement, or fluid accumulation.

    Hormone levels can be checked, but this tends to be a little more expensive. It would be more important to monitor hormone levels if you actually want to breed the dog. It would not be as important if you don’t.

    You really need to discuss this with your regular veterinarian.

    Good luck.

  163. Annie says:

    My 10 month old mini schnauzer male is not interested in a 2 yr old female on day 10 of her heat cycle. Her owner brought her to me on her 6th day and he was very interested, just not accurate. Now its like she doesn’t exist to him. Is he just too young? Both are 1st timers too. Could that be the issue. He hasn’t even attempted since the first day she came to our house.
    Thanks,
    Annie

  164. Doc says:

    Hello, Annie,

    It is possible that the female is having an irregular cycle. Your veterinarian can perform a vaginal cytology examination to find out if she has already ovulated and is past her period of being receptive to the male.

    If she is still in her fertile phase, it may be problem with inexperience. It’s always better to have at least one of the pair with a little experience, if possible.

    Even though you have brought the female to the male’s territory (which is good), he may still be intimidated with her being older and larger. If the female is somehow perceived as dominant, the male may become reluctant to try to mate.

    Have the female’s cytology checked so you know where you stand.

    Good luck.

  165. Gillian says:

    Hello, I have 2 West Highland Terriers. My female is 2 yrs and y male is 9 mths. She has been accepting him for 3 days now and there are locking constantly! Everymorning after their first feeding and back yard play/bathroom break), about 4-6 hours after that and then again after their final bathroom break of the night. Is this normal? 3-4 times a day? Should I seperate them after once or twice in a day? There are very happy loving dogs and the last few weeks are inseperable. They cry if one can’t find the other in the house..:) Thank you now for your reponse!!

  166. Doc says:

    Gillian,

    They are certainly being more sexually active than necessary for conception. Once every other day would probably work. That being said, there’s no harm being done, as long as the female is willing.

    Ideally you would breed daily while she accepts the male, which would be 7 to 9 days, on average.

    With them locking up that often, the sperm count per breeding is probably getting a little low, but that is unlikely to be a problem since we are only talking about service on one female. If you were trying to cover more than one female, you would not let the guy exhaust himself with the first one.

    I predict that you will have puppies and that all this activity will not cause problems. You should get a pre-natal checkup with your veterinarian about 4 weeks after breeding.

    Good luck.

  167. Jane says:

    Hi,
    I have a maiden cocker bitch who is day 15 of her cycle, she is still bleeding a watery red blood. She is flagging a proven stud dog and her tail goes to one side and she lifts her swollen vulva up to him but he just licks her and walks away, is she not ready yet or is the male rejecting her for some reason??

  168. Doc says:

    Hello, Jane,

    It is not unusual for the first cycle to be irregular. It is possible she is not yet ready, and the male is probably a better judge than we are.

    On the other hand, if she presenting and standing, that sounds like she’s “ready”. I would suggest that you let your veterinarian check a vaginal cytology. This is a simple and fast procedure that helps evaluate the stage of her heat cycle.

    Frequently the second cycle is more normal, and problems you are having now just don’t appear on the second cycle.

    If the cytology, the bitch’s behavior, and the male’s behavior just don’t agree, you may have to assess hormone levels through her cycle. Your veterinarian is the best person to advise you about this.

    Good luck.

  169. Anonymous says:

    Wait, so essentially dogs only go through it very, very rarely, but for a longer stretch of time? Are there any other similarities other than bloody discharge?

  170. Doc says:

    The dog’s estrous cycle and that of the human are really not very similar. By estrous cycle, we mean the ovaries preparing follicles that nourish the egg cells to the point that they can be released and fertilized, and the uterus becoming prepared to accept the fertilized eggs. If fertilization does not take place, the cycle starts again, generally at some regular interval.

    Humans cycle regularly at roughly once per month. Dogs cycle (most of them) regularly, but only about once every six months.

    Humans are cycling continually. Dogs rest for five months, then have a one-month cycle.

    The bloody discharge in dogs has to do with the vaginal lining undergoing changes to toughen up for the impending trauma of intercourse. This is the earliest part of the cycle. The bloody discharge of menstruation in humans is much later in the cycle, and is produced by the uterus dropping its (un-used) extra lining that was prepared for the fertilized eggs (that didn’t appear). Dogs do not menstruate.

    Female dogs tend to be sexually receptive ONLY during the middle of their estrous cycle. Female humans tend to be receptive for reasons that are often quite independent of their hormonal status.

    I hope this answers your question.

  171. Jane Bils says:

    I have a female that is over 2 years old, she’s healthy and well fed, very giddy type of dog, but not nervous. She has never had a heat cycle. Should she see a vet? She is not spayed. I don’t want to breed her, I’m just worried about her.

  172. Doc says:

    Hello, Jane,

    It is possible that she is having normal estrous cycles, but that her hormone levels are low enough that she has a so-called “silent heat”.

    It is also possible that her ovaries are not active. Sometimes this occurs with low thyroid output, but those dogs are usually pretty laid back, rather than “giddy”.

    If you did wish to breed her, you would have to check a series of hormone levels to see what her ovaries are doing. This could be done, but is probably a waste of time.

    My concern is that in the long run, she may have same problems as any other elderly, unspayed female: more risk of breast tumors, and possible uterine infections.

    If you are worried about her, I suspect that the simplest and best solution would be to have her spayed (the removal of the uterus and ovaries).

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  173. SAM says:

    We have two female border collies. 4yrs and 6yrs Instead of buying another BC pup this time around we decided to breed our 4yr old girl to a very nice proven stud dog. We expected her heat cycle back in march and it didn’t come so I gave up this time around. Well last wed. June 16th we noticed bleeding. The bleeding stopped around 19th. We took her to the stud on the 21’st. She was flagging a little and we did get a tie. She yelped at first but we got her calmed down(this is her first breeding) Today (23rd)we took her to him again for another tie. This time around she just didn’t want to go in his pen and only wanted to play. I had to bring her in there. We got her to focus on a ball and they tied again.
    Is she just being cautions because this is her first time or did we miss the right time or is it too early?
    I’m waiting again until the 25th and see how she looks, if shes still swollen ect.
    Also we want to have 1 litter of pups out of our 6yr old girl but she hasn’t gone in yet. Usually she goes when the other one goes. She wasn’t really receptive to the male at all and isn’t really swollen. Is there a way to push her into heat. (other then the cabergoline option)

    Thanks!

  174. Doc says:

    I would have your veterinarian check a vaginal cytology to look at what stage of the cycle the dog is in. He/she should be able to tell you whether you are too early, too late or what.

    I’d also get with him/her on the estrus induction. There aren’t just a whole lot of options.

    This is something that needs to be handled by someone with “boots on the ground”.

    Good luck.

  175. cheryl says:

    hello,
    i have 3 dashounds 2 females one male and a male minpin. my girls dont do it but both the boys cry whine and howl when i kennel them up at night. can anyone tell me why they do this?

  176. Doc says:

    Hello, Cheryl,

    I suspect that they are frustrated with being confined and bored with nothing to do.

    I would suggest getting a copy of “SuperPuppy” by Peter Vollmer (a very small, inexpensive, handbook on puppy raising), as it has a really good section on crate-training.

    We want the dog to view the crate as its den, its safe place. Instead, these guys are viewing it as their jail, so they want out.

    You’ve probably already put toys and stuff in there for them, so what you need to do is start building some positive associations with the crate.

    Good luck.

  177. Maddie says:

    I have a german shep/husk/lab mix. She is 1yr&3mnths. She just recovered from a vaginal
    infection, the vet said I should get her spayed but I want to breed her in the near future. I love my pup and I don’t want to jeopardize her well-being by not gettin her spayed. What should I do?

  178. Doc says:

    Hello, Maddie,

    I recommend that you have a more in-depth discussion with your veterinarian. I would want to have a better understanding of why the spaying operation has been recommended.

    Does the dog have abnormal anatomy that predisposes her to more infections?

    Does your doctor just want to be as aggressive as possible in preventing future female trouble?

    Is there some other reason the dog should not be bred?

    And a question for you:

    Since she is a mixed breed dog, and the world is full of unwanted pups, and lots of them have to be put down because nobody wants them, why is it important to breed this dog?

    After discussing these issues with your veterinarian, you should be better able to make your decision.

    Good luck.

  179. Alan says:

    hi all i have a 8 week old puppy and i gave him a 7-1 shot that i got from the local farm store and i need to know how often do i give them and how many of them do i give to him? sorry to ask but i cant go to the vet right now and the vet said i have to bring him in they wont give me any info about it at all help please

    P.S. does the 7-1 shots count as puppy shots?

  180. Doc says:

    Hello, Alan,

    We vaccinate people and animals for diseases that are serious or fatal, and for which we do not have a good treatment. A vaccine is a preparation containing the germs that cause a disease. The germs have been grown in a laboratory and either killed or weakened so that they cannot harm the dog.

    When these are injected into the body, the body’s natural defenses react to them as though they were the real-live germ that causes the disease, and produce protection against that disease. Then the individual is ready and waiting and “loaded for bear” if they ever meet the live germ.

    This is like peace-time war games. Here’s what the enemy looks like, so get prepared to fight. Of course, since we’re asking the body’s defenses to do extra work, they have to be in good shape to start with. There is no point in trying to vaccinate a sick or debilitated puppy. It doesn’t work.

    Young puppies do not respond like adults when given the same vaccines. Instead of making a high level of protection for a year, they make a low level, and they may quit in a few weeks. Or they may not respond at all. That is why we start vaccinating at weaning age (6 to 8 weeks) and repeat the “puppy shots” at 3 to 4 week intervals until the puppy is at least 14 weeks old.

    In dogs we worry most about distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and rabies.
    The “7-in-1” shot contains the killed or weakened germs that cause distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and some respiratory viruses. It does not contain rabies. Different vaccines may contain slightly different combinations.

    The vaccines from different manufacturers vary in how effective they are at stimulating the dog’s defenses to protect itself. If the vaccine has not been properly stored (kept cold, not frozen), it will not be effective at all. If it has ever warmed up to room temperature for any length of time to speak of, it will not be effective. With over-the-counter vaccines, you have no assurance of effectiveness.

    When you administer this yourself, there is also the possibility that you do so incorrectly. In the rare event of a serious vaccine reaction (and they do happen sometimes), you will not be equipped to treat it.

    So good luck with that. Without a good examination by your veterinarian, you may overlook significant medical problems and parasite problems that could be easily treated in the early stages, but be very serious later on.

  181. Christina says:

    Hello,

    I have read your posts on this page…that being said, first let me commend you for your patience in answering the same questions repeatedly..Now to my question, I have a female Mini Aussie, she is 28 months old, her last heat cycle began on the 28th of Oct. I am wanting to breed her and have been waiting for her to go into heat. My difference in the question is this, since my girl was little she has “mounted” a stuffed bear that is a favorite toy of hers. Since she has had 3 previous cycles in which she did this behavior should I be concerned? I read in a book that had a chapter on breeding that sometimes this can be a form of “nymphomania” in the female dogs, and that it can prevent them from going into heat. Is this true? I have looked for more information and have been unable to find any. Thanks, Christina

  182. Doc says:

    Hello, Christina,

    I did a quick search on Veterinary Information Network, and can find no references to “nymphomania” preventing a normal heat cycle.

    Since most dogs cycle every 6 months, your dog is indeed late for her next cycle. She might be a candidate for the artificial induction of estrus.

    She should be examined by your veterinarian, and if no abnormalities are noted, you can consult with him/her about using drugs to start heat cycle.

    Good luck.

  183. Jolena says:

    I have a Pom-Chi was recently rescued. She came to me while in heat and i saw no sign of blood after bringing her home. My sister took the male that was from the same house and he is not fixed either. It’s not our intention to breed them but i feel like it may have already happened considering the time line. A few days after we got them they saw eachother and he couldn’t stop trying to mount her and she wasn’t really having it. That was 10 days ago, since then he has lost insterest and she has started bleeding again and her rear nipples have started to become swollen and pink. Could she be pregnant? Should i be worried that she stared bleeding again?

    Thank you!

  184. Doc says:

    Hello, Jolena,

    From your note, it sounds like the female is not actually bleeding “again”, as you didn’t see her bleeding the first time.

    It is possible that she was bleeding before you acquired her and was in the fertile period, and that this was why the male was mounting her.

    It is also possible that this was a dominance-related behavior, and she is just NOW starting in heat.

    You should take her to your veterinarian. He/she can perform a vaginal cytology test quickly in the office and determine whether she is actually starting a cycle now, or whether this is an abnormal vaginal discharge and requires treatment.

    Good luck.

  185. marian o leary says:

    hi, i have a male and female rough collie she is in her first heat cycle,i first noticed her in heat on the seventh of sept, it is now the 19th of sept how much longer is she in danger

  186. Doc says:

    Hello, Marian,

    If by “in danger” you mean still sexually receptive and fertile, this can be a little hard to answer. By the numbers, you should be okay by the 25th of September. Unfortunately, some dogs cannot count.

    Three to four weeks is the average length of the cycle.

    Your veterinarian can perform a vaginal cytology examination. There are distinct changes that occur after ovulation, and then you will know she is past her fertile period.

    Good luck.

  187. Doc says:

    Hello, Bones,

    Generally speaking, most female dogs have their first cycle before they are fully mature, anywhere from 7 months to 10 months old.

    They can get pregnant at that cycle, but it is not advisable. It’s like a thirteen years old girl getting pregnant. It happens, but it’s hard for them to be a good mother when they are not fully mature themselves.

    Most folks recommend waiting until the second heat cycle, after the dog is fully mature (greater than one year old).

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  188. Doc says:

    Sorry, I was in a hurry shoveling a weekend’s worth of email and misread your letter.

    Five years old should not really be a problem, though if she has never been bred before, that may entail some logistical problems. Usually you have more success taking the female to the male’s territory.

    I probably wouldn’t breed much after 8 years old, but that’s just me.

  189. Cmsaecker says:

    Hi, We have a 3yr old female lab and a 5yr old male lab. We are trying to mate them this heat cycle. We noticed her bleeding around 9/21. She stopped bleeding yesterday, 10/5. She is still very unreceptive to the male. Did we miss the time to mate? Or should we continue to show them each other everyday until she is receptive? He is still very interested in her. This is both of the dogs first time mating. Thank you!

  190. Doc says:

    With this being the first date for both of them, it make take a few tries for them to figure it out.

    Your best bet to determine the female’s stage of cycle would be to take her to you veterinarian for a vaginal cytology examination. This is very quick and inexpensive.

    Alternatively, you could continue to bring the female to the male daily. If she accepts him and they breed, then start the every 48 hours thing until she no longer will accept him.

    Good luck.

  191. Kris M. says:

    I have a 7 year old toy poodle, she was spayed when she was about 4 months, and has had very “light” heat cycles. This heat cycle is a little different because she has very dark bleeding and some clots, is this normal? or should I just take her to the Vet? Please Help.

  192. Doc says:

    Hello, Kris,

    It is certainly not normal. If she is having these cycles at regular six-month intervals, I would certainly suspect that there may be a tiny bit of ovary tissue left.

    It is possible to brush the ovary against the body wall on the way out and accidentally implant ovarian cells, even if you have done a great job on the spay operation. This can be a spot of tissue smaller than a pin-head.

    Exploratory surgery to locate the spot is difficult, and needs to be done while she is having the heat cycle (if that’s what it is).

    If this occurs irregularly, then there could be something going on with the stump of the uterus.

    You definitely should talk to your veterinarian about this. A vaginal cytology examination (looking under the microscope at the lining cells from the vagina) should help tell whether this is a heat cycle or some type of discharge unrelated to that.

    Good luck.

  193. Amy Wetsel says:

    So I have my lil miss in heat…she is waving her tail around and pushing her bum in my males face. She is on day 7 of her cycle. But all he wants to do is lick her, not mount her, This is his first time and I read I might have to manually stimulate him to get him started. Yikes!! I dont even know what to say to that, or even how I would do that. Any ideas?? Thanks

  194. Doc says:

    Hello, Amy,

    When the male is inexperienced, it is generally best to bring an experienced female to his territory. If the two dogs are generally housed together and the female is higher in the dominance hierarchy (the top dog), he may never have the confidence to mount her.

    Attempting to assist the copulation is possible, I suppose. I’m not an authority on it and cannot advise you in this. I generally prefer to let nature take its course, but sometimes that doesn’t achieve any results.

    Good luck.

  195. Kristi says:

    I have a almost 2 yr old female lab that has cycled right thru her first heat and started her second heat on time but is now on day 27 and still bleeding! What can be causing this? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  196. Doc says:

    Hello, Kristi,

    27 days of bleeding is excessive. I would probably have to consult with a specialist if nothing obvious showed up on physical examination.

    I would recommend that you have your veterinarian examine her. He/she will do a complete physical examination, vaginal examination, and vaginal cytology. That may or may not give the information needed, but it is certainly the first step.

    Your veterinarian may also check the dog’s clotting time. A bleeding disorder seems unlikely, but it’s not impossible.

    This is not an “over the phone” case. Your dog needs an exam.

    Good luck.

  197. Kristi says:

    Thank you. We have been to my vet and he really has no idea either. I have been throwing it out there to see if anyone else has had this or any ideas for us. Thanks again for your time.

  198. Leanne says:

    Hi I have a 2 1/2y bitch who is on day 15 of her 2nd cycle (it has been 12mths between cycles). We are trying to mate her with our 2 1/2y male but are finding that the bitch wont stand or flag for the male. She snaps at him when he tries to mount her. If we hold the bitch, the male won’t go near her….is it too late in her cycle for her to mate or do you think that she will stand over the next day or so and maybe have success. any other suggestions?

  199. Doc says:

    Hello, Leanne,

    It may or may not be too late in the cycle. Let your veterinarian do a vaginal cytology exam. It just takes a few minutes and he/she can tell you where you are in the cycle. Not expensive.

    From your description, I wonder if these two dogs don’t have dominance issues. It usually works best to take the female to the male’s territory to help with that issue. If the dogs live together all the time, you may have better luck taking her to an outside male.

    Check that cytology first, though.

    Good luck.

  200. Jennifer Mick says:

    Hello there. This question has probably been asked and answered a million times over, but I’ve been getting such conflicting info. that I’m compelled to ask someone new. I have a 2 year old female Pit Bull and a three year old male Chihuahua. The vet told me not to worry about mating because there is little to no chance the Chihuahua could “do the deed” without assistance. WRONG. I personally witnessed 3 matings (although no tie)…and who knows how many more since my male turned into a real Casanova. First mating occured 3 days after she became receptive (approx. day 12), and they mated 2 more times on days 14 and 15. I was told by another vet that pregnancy cannot be achieved without a tie, yet was also told it IS possible by a third vet. I’m confused. (all three matings were “completed” EXCEPT for the tie) What are the chances I will need to start collecting whelping supplies??

  201. Doc says:

    Hello, Jennifer,

    I am by no means a reproductive specialist. However, these questions are pretty basic. I am sorry that you are getting conflicting information.

    A great resource is http://veterinarypartner.com/
    This is a searchable database and the answers there have been thoroughly “vetted” (sorry, couldn’t resist).

    The chance of pregnancy is the same as if she had mated with any other dog. There does NOT have to be “tie” for pregnancy to occur. The tie makes it less likely that the semen will fall back out the way it came in, but the sperm can swim on in there anyway.

    You have already seen the actual mating. I once saw the product of a Dachshund father and a Collie mother. It happens. It is a great mistake to underestimate the sex drive.

    I would recommend an ultrasound pregnancy exam at 28 days after the last mating.

    Alternatively, if you are sure that you do not want puppies in the future, spaying during the first two weeks of pregnancy generally has no greater risk than spaying when not in heat.

    So, good luck.

  202. Doc moore says:

    I have a 3 yr old rottie she is on day 13 of her cycle, and I have been taking her to the stud every day since day 9 and all he does is lick and lean on her while humping air. he hasn’t tried to mount her at all he sired a litter 4 yrs ago but he’s 8 yrs now could he be past his prime or maybe she’s just not ovulating yet any ideas?

  203. Doc says:

    Hello, Doc,

    I think that both of your ideas are plausible: she may be late, or he may just have lost his mojo. Eight years old is much older for a giant breed dog than for the average dog.

    Your veterinarian can check a vaginal cytology exam pretty quickly, and let you know where she is in her cycle, whether or not she has already ovulated.

    I recommend a trip to your veterinarian.

    Good luck.

  204. Kim says:

    Hi,
    I have a 2 1/2 year old golden female that I’m trying to breed and she’s on her 13th day in her cycle. But when I put her and her prospective male together, she still won’t allow him to mount or sniff her. Do you think she is still not ready yet at day 13? Both are first timers- could that be the issue?

  205. Doc says:

    It is possible that she isn’t ready yet. I’d get your veterinarian to check a vaginal cytology exam for the stage of the heat cycle.

    Your idea about the “first-timers” is a good one also. Ideally, one takes the female to the male’s territory so that there are no dominance issues. This is difficult when the dogs live together, and that dominance hierarchy thing may be interfering.

    In a situation like this, I’d get the vaginal cytology checked. If you find that she is still in the fertile period, or has passed it, I’d be looking for an experienced male to take her to the next time.

    Good Luck.

  206. Nico Robberts says:

    Hi my male lab is a bit inexperienced with mating he keeps mountig the bitch from the front. This is the third time we are trying to breed with them and both are 2 years old,from the first time he was mounting her from the front . Is this normal? What can i do? kind regards
    Nico

  207. Doc says:

    It is important to be sure that the bitch is in the fertile and receptive part of her cycle. Ask your veterinarian to perform a vaginal cytology examination.
    If the bitch is standing well, then it would be okay to assist the male into the correct position.
    If she is not standing well, then I would try to arrange a mating for the dog with a bitch who is more experienced and cooperative.
    It sounds like he has enthusiasm, but needs some experience with a cooperative partner.
    As a last resort, you could talk to your veterinarian about collecting semen for artificial insemination.

  208. Jerri Balkon says:

    2 months ago our female chihuahua came into heat right on time for her 6th month birthday. We have 2 males in residence but were not planning to bred her until she is 18 months old. We endured 3 weeks of males wanting her. We survived the 3 full weeks with ‘belly belts’ on both males and a pair of ‘period panties’ w/ liners on the female and there was never a time when any hooks-ups occurred. We watched her swell and bleed and stop bleeding and unswell and felt pretty happy about surviving with success. Today at not quite 8 months of age without any swelling and any bleeding our “tiny male” hooked himself up to her. Her vulva isn’t even swollen or tilted or anything. They stayed hooked-up for over 45 minutes. We had to hold them in our arms because they both were screaming and yelling in pain. How could this possibly have occurred? My mom and dad raised poodles my whole life and we never had anything like this happen.
    The worst part is the dog that hooked-up with her isn’t the dog we purchased her to bred with at all! The other male dog just came home with us because the breeder gave him away because he was related to all of her females in someway and has only one testicle that descended and the other one can be felt under his skin in his groin area. How could this happen and what the heck should we so about it?

  209. Doc says:

    Hello, Jerri,

    First estrous cycles are often irregular. It is possible that this is a fertile estrus.

    As to “how did this happen?”, it is surprising that a tie was effected with no previous indication of estrus. Sorry I can’t explain that for you.

    What to do? Get an ultrasound at 28 days. IF not pregnant, then all is well. If she is pregnant, you can seek abortion by using prostaglandin injections. These are unpleasant, but generally safe.

    Talk to your veterinarian about it.

    Good luck.

  210. Sioux says:

    Hi,
    We have a 9 year old boxer bitch, who has never had a litter of pups and has always had regular seasons, until just over a year ago, when she came into season, as normal, but has never gone out of it!
    Can you tell me if this is normal, or if you think there are any problems?
    Many thanks
    Sioux

  211. Doc says:

    Hello, Sioux,

    Showing apparent signs of estrus for one year is certainly not normal.

    If she has vaginal swelling and “heat” type discharge and is attractive to males, there may be an ovary problem.

    If it is just a vaginal discharge, she could have a chronic infection in her uterus.

    This dog needs to be seen by a veterinarian. If she has a uterine infection, these can become life-threatening. Even though chronic for a long time, they can suddenly get much worse.

    Seriously, take her to the veterinarian.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  212. Sioux says:

    Many thanks for the quick reply, she does have swelling, along with the heat type discharge and seems to be attractive to male dogs, so will get her to the vets first thing. Again many thanks for your fast advice
    Sioux

  213. Carmen Schoeman says:

    Hi, my female Boxer seems to be on heat (her vulva is swollen) and my Daschund male seems to be licking her constantly and have been following her around, but we are wanting to breed with her with the male Boxer who we bought recently but the Daschund doesn’t allow any dog to get around her. Is it possible for a Daschund to mate a Boxer firstly? Secondly, how will we know she is pregnant?

  214. Doc says:

    I have seen a case where the male was a Dachshund and the female was a Collie. So yeah, it could happen.

    The Dachshund may have to go visit a friend for a while.

    Ultrasound at 28 days post-breeding is best way to tell.

    Good luck.

  215. Katy says:

    Hello,

    I think my female dog may have been bred. She is only a little over a year old and she has had two heat cycles, but on the last heat cycle, I am afraid she may have been bred. How do I know if she is bred and will it be harmful to her since she is not two years old yet?

  216. Doc says:

    Since she is over one year old, she should be well able to tolerate the pregnancy, age and development wise.

    Not being able to see her and evaluate her health otherwise, I cannot really tell you how a pregnancy would impact her situation.

    I would recommend an ultrasound pregnancy evaluation at 28 days post-breeding for pregnancy testing.

    Good luck.

  217. Debbie says:

    Hi! I have a 2 year old boston that seems to have a 9 day length heat is that possible? She seems to be done with heat, but still a little swollen, and will not accept my male dog, of course he is still interested.

  218. Doc says:

    Hello, Debbie,

    Heat cycles can be very irregular. Your veterinarian can perform a vaginal cytology exam to determine her stage of the heat cycle. It doesn’t take long and I would not expect it to be expensive.

    He/she will also do a physical examination to see if there may be some other physical problem contributing to the nature of her cycle.

    Good luck.

  219. Angela says:

    First, I would like to say thank you for your non-judgemental advice. It seems everywhere I look for information about breeding someone is chiming in on why I shouldn’t. With that being said here is my question: I have a 2 year old GSF in her second heat cycle. I took her to the male a 2 year old GS (also his first mating) on the 9th day of her cycle and once the bleeding started slowing. She has been at the male’s residence,(a ranch), where they have free range except at night when they are locked up in a barn. She has been there for 5 days and the males owners have not witnessed a tie. In fact, they said they play and he tries to mount but she isin’t accepting him. Is it possible that she is accepting him when they are in closed quarters but then wouldn’t accept him in the open? I miss my girl and really want to bring her back home but I don’t want to do it too soon. Any advice?

  220. Doc says:

    Hello, Angela,

    A tie is not necessary for conception to occur. Breeding can occur without it.

    Taking the female to the male’s territory is better than bringing him to hers, so well done on that.

    An inexperienced male may have more trouble with an inexperienced female, so that may be part of the problem.

    It is also possible that her cycle is not “following the numbers”. I would recommend taking her to your veterinarian for a vaginal cytology examination. This just takes a few minutes, and establishes the stage of her heat cycle for you.

    Good luck.

  221. Rosa says:

    hi.
    I have a 2 yr old dobie I am trying to breed. The male was dropped off rather late (day 15) but that is still characterised by most as being the end of estrus…however she would not stand for the male or display any kind of sexual behavior (she never has before either). At times she would reluctantly let him hump her even though he was in the wrong spot. I am wondering if the timing was just way off or if my dog is just a cold fish…

  222. Lacy Turpin PupsPaintball says:

    Hello.
    I have a small show kennel and have an Australian Shepherd female that is not having heat cycles regularly yet. She was born on March 2009. Her first heat cycle was at 16 months old (I have had dogs be late starts) and it has now been exactly 12 months sence that cycle. I saw in an earlier post about Cabergoline, can I use his on her to help her come into heat.

    I also had her sister from the same litter who had normal cycles develop Pyometra on her 3rd cycle and had to go in for emergancy sergary. Is that related or a family genetic trait?

    Thank you so much for you time.

  223. Doc says:

    Hello, Rosa,

    It does sound like you may be a little late in the cycle. I would recommend that you get your veterinarian to check a vaginal cytology.

    Your veterinarian can help you monitor the stage of the dog’s heat cycle, and I would recommend this.

    When you know that the dog is in a fertile period, it would probably be better to take the female to the male’s territory.

    You need a little more hands-on assistance, rather than my long-distance advice.

    Good luck.

  224. Doc says:

    Hello, Lacy,

    The development of pyometra at such a young age is unusual. I have seen it in a young German Shepherd bitch who had not had her first cycle. This is totally inexplicable to me. It sure happened, though.

    Is this a familial or genetic trait? I would doubt it, but if the dog has an unusual hormone set-up then relatives might also be affected.

    It is possible to induce a fertile heat cycle, but I would recommend that you seek out a veterinarian who works regularly with breeding problems. Monkeying with the dog’s hormones can certainly cause other problems, so I would want someone who has a lot of experience with it. I personally do not.

    Good luck.

  225. Lacy Turpin PupsPaintball says:

    Thank you for the responce. I haven’t monkeyed around with her at all. If she has not came in by December we are taking her in to get an ultrasound and do some blood work on her.

    The vet could not believe it happened to her sister until we spent $500 in testing and then did a emergancy spaying.

    Thank you again for your time.

  226. Alisa says:

    We adopted a 5 year old pom mix from the spca on march 26, 2011. We were told she was spayed because she has a scar on her stomach. Our vet said the scar was high and she may not be spayed…we will have to wait to see if she starts a cycle. How much longer until I know for sure that she really is spayed?

  227. Doc says:

    Hello, Alisa,

    Heat cycles can be irregular, but most dogs have a cycle every six months. If nothing has happened since March 26, things are looking good.

    If you don’t see anything by New Year’s, I would be REALLY confident that she has been spayed.

    Having said that, I have seen dogs have cycles that were over a year apart. You just need to watch the dog instead of the calendar.

    Six months with no sign is looking good, though.

  228. Jacqueline says:

    my female chihuahua terrier mix was in heat in Jan. and then again in Aug and yesturday I noticed she seams to be coming back in to heat again why so soon?

  229. Doc says:

    Small dogs often have irregular heat cycles.

    Have your veterinarian check to be sure that this is a normal cycle. He/she will probably want to do a vaginal cytology and a complete blood count to rule out uterine or vaginal infections.

    Good luck.

  230. Yesmer says:

    Helllo !!!! I have a 5 year old schnauzer .She was breed on the 9th day and the 10th day. Is it possible that she got pregnant already even there is a little discharge coming out of her?

  231. Doc says:

    Hello, Yesmer,

    We usually start breeding on day 9, so I would say that it is certainly possible that your dog is in the fertile stage of the heat cycle.

    Your veterinarian can check a vaginal cytology to confirm the stage of the heat cycle.

    Pregnancy checking is not reliable until later in the process. I usually do an ultrasound at 28 days post-breeding. This will be 25 to 28 days post conception.

    If desired, prostaglandin injections can be used to abort at that stage.

    If you don’t want puppies at all, you can go ahead and schedule her for an ovariohysterectomy (spay) as soon as she goes out of heat.

    It is possible to do it while still in heat, but is more troublesome for the surgeon, so costs a bit more.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  232. Hazel says:

    Hi there,
    My dog is eight (Bichon) and she has recently had a heat cycle during which she bred with my young 1.1/2 old shih tzu, I was wondering if she’ll be ok. Could she get pregnant at this age and still be healthy. Also at eight will her eggs be viable and had a chance of producing healthy puppies?
    At the moment she is still swollen, I am not sure if their even bred at the right time, I cant really keep track of the bleeding as she constantly licking so it always appears clean. They were tied though after breeding (8th and 13th so 10 and 5 days ago)she is swollen and probably would let him mount her but he has totally lost interest. What are the chances of pregnacy.

  233. Doc says:

    Hello, Hazel,

    An eight years old dog can certainly get pregnant and deliver healthy puppies, but it is not an ideal situation. Sort of like getting pregnant after you’re forty.

    More pre-natal care would be recommended.

    I would suggest having her examined by your veterinarian about four weeks after the breeding. An ultrasound exam can determine whether or not she is pregnant, even if she is not showing anything outwardly.

    Four weeks is a little less than half of the 9-week gestation period, so this is a good time to talk about care of the pregnant mother, the birthing process, and care of puppies.

    Your veterinarian probably has some specific recommendations. I would call now, explain the situation, and ask when they recommend a pre-natal checkup.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  234. Rebecca Rhoads says:

    Hello, I have a rottweiler that is a little over 2 and she is at the studs house now, however she was outside in a kennel with our doberman and my husband went out to feed them and noticed our doberman trying to mount her, I went out to check her and she was bleeding but not heavy and slightly swollen. She was staying in the dog house(i think so he would leave her alone) and we never saw them “tie”. I asked my husband and he said he was trying to mount her on November 26th and he just told me on the 29th. So she was serperated from him on the 29th and as I said we never saw them tie. She is at the breeders house and is still having dark red blood discharge but she is standing for him and flagging her tail and raising her vulva. She is more swelled today than yesterday. But this is his first mating and he hasnt got it yet. Yesterday was their first day together. Could she already be bred by my doberman and already going out of heat? I am praying NO.. Is it normal for her to stand and flag her tail for the male even tho she still has a dark red blood discharge? Or will it still turn to the pinkish straw colored? Will we have to help him get positioned correctly? While we were there yesterday she stood for him he got it in but i guess it wasnt “deep enough” cause the bulbs on his penis swelled but they didnt connect… I talked to the studs owner today and she said they now stink awfully. They had free roam last night together. But she has never seen them tie either but she said he has tried like 20 times and she stands for him… Do you have any tips on how I could help them? I am going there tomorrow and would like to know what I could do to help them. Please and thank you for your advice.
    PS both dogs are AKC reg Rottweilers.

  235. Rebecca Rhoads says:

    Another thing I forgot to add was that the bleeding is not very much and it hasnt been. only drops once in a while but it is starting to slow down even more, I am just so scared she is already bred and gowing out of heat. I added everything up and if the 26th was the first day then today would be day 9 of her heat cycle… what is your opinion? and advice? Do you think she is already bred and going out of heat or do you think she is just getting prime and the male will eventually get it right? Sorry so many questions. Thanks in advance..

  236. Doc says:

    Hello, Rebecca,

    Ordinarily, we consider the first day of bleeding as “day 1” and recommend taking the bitch to the male on “day 9”. We start breeding on day 9 and at least every 48 hours until she quits accepting the male.

    Your veterinarian can perform a vaginal cytology exam to determine the stage of her cycle.

  237. rebecca says:

    Hello again, thanks for ur advice but now I have another question. In the proestrus phase dogs bleed then in estrus it is suppossed to be pink/straw colored or no discharge. Well what happens after that in the third and fourth stages? Do they bleed again? Cause when I took my female to the studs house she still had some red blood discharge but she would stand and flag her tail for him and she stood for him up until today not sure if she is now. Then yesterday her discharge stopped but now the male shows no interest in her except for playing. No mounting or licking! So basically I was wondering if they bleed then stop then bleed again? Thanks

  238. Doc says:

    Hello, Rebecca,

    The discharge can be inconsistent, as you have observed.

    Your best bet is to have your veterinarian do a vaginal cytology examination to determine the stage of her cycle.

  239. Dave says:

    I have a 3/4 English bulldog mixed with 1/4 boxer. It took a full year for her to come into heat. Will she go another full year before her next cycle???

  240. Doc says:

    Hello, Dave,

    While heat cycles can be irregular, particularly the first ones, I would expect her next cycle to be in about six months.

    It could certainly come sooner or later (like 3 months or 8 months). Watch the dog, not the calendar. I recommend checking out her privates about twice weekly.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  241. ivan says:

    hi, my dog bella is about 13 months old and just started her first cycle two days ago. we want our two maltese to have puppies. she has been bleeding for two days and the male which is 18 months old has shown no interest is this normal? thank you

  242. Doc says:

    Hello, Ivan,

    The female is not usually receptive to the male until about day seven to day nine (Day one being the first day of bleeding).

    Usually the male is interested before that, however. When two dogs live together, sometimes their normal relationship (who’s the boss?) can affect this. If the female is dominant, the male may be reluctant to approach, even though she is in heat.

    That being said, nature usually takes its course. I’d be looking for more activity in five to seven days.

    Good luck.

  243. Taderian says:

    Hi
    I have a pit bull she is a year and 4months. She is 11 days into here heat cycle and still bleeding. Is this normal or do I need to take her to the vet. I also want to kno since her first part of her cycle is lasting longer will she still go threw wit the second and third part or will she just go out of heat.

  244. Doc says:

    Hello, Taderian,

    Eleven days is longer than usual for the first phase of the cycle. Some dogs actually ovulate while continuing to bleed, so a trip to the veterinarian is in order.

    He/she can do a vaginal cytology exam and let you know where you stand in the cycle, or if there is something abnormal.

    While 7 to 9 days for each of the three phases of the cycle is average, they can certainly go longer.

    I would expect the dog to go through all three phases of the cycle.

    Again, the best way to see what’s going on is for your veterinarian to check a vaginal cytology.

    Thanks for reading and writing.

  245. gaby says:

    MY dog is 2 years old and she only weighs 3 pounds,and she hasn’t had her period yet, is that normal? Sometimes I’ll see her lick herself down there and occasionally she’ll scream because she feels discomfort down there. I think the reason why she hasn’t had her period yet is because she’s so little, and won’t be able to have puppies and will die from giving birth. I’m not sure,I forgot to mention she is not spayed because I was the one who helped her mother deliver her therefore I found no reason to spay her because she never got her period or whatever you call it. Someone please help me understand what can possibly be happening to my dog.

  246. Doc says:

    Hello, Gaby,

    Heat cycles can be irregular in these tiny “toy” dogs.

    Also, they can have so-called “silent heats” where the external signs are not obvious.

    Dogs who cycle over and over again, even though they don’t show it or get bred, are at greater risk of breast tumors and female trouble. If you don’t plan to raise puppies, I would recommend that you have her spayed (a complete hysterectomy).

    There should be no discomfort associated with the heat cycle.

    If your dog is crying, there is something wrong. She may have a urinary tract infection. She really needs to be seen by your veterinarian.

    I hope this is helpful to you. Thanks for reading and writing.

  247. Ann says:

    We are getting ready to breed our mini dashunds. We are lucky enough to have them together off and on to be familiar with each other, and she will be living here for her entire heat cycle. My quesiton is more about the gestation time. How long after her breeding should we expect to have puppies? Also what kind of care should we provide her as she comes closer to labor/just after birth? I’m thinking that quite would be good, but not sure about all the details as this is our first time doing this (she is about 2 1/2 years old.) Thanks!

  248. Kathy says:

    My dog usually goes in heat twice a year. June and December. She had her first litter in Sept and everything went fine. Should she go in heat 6 months from the time she had the litter?

  249. Doc says:

    Hello, Kathy,

    It is more likely that she will go in heat six months from her last cycle. In other words, about four months after the litter was born, or about two months after they were weaned. I’d say you’re overdue.

  250. Kristin says:

    Hello,

    We have 3 Australian Shepherds (2/F & 1/M) that we breed on a regular basis. Our 4 year old female has had a regular heat cycle (about every six months) since her first at 11 months old and was successfully bred four consecutive times, whelping healthy litters twice in January and twice in July. We intentionally (and successfully) kept them separated during her last heat in November, then today we looked outside and were shocked to see her tied with our male. There were no noticeable signs that she was coming in, however, she did have a “silent” heat cycle once before. Should we assume that for some unknown reason she is now in heat almost 3 months early, or could there be another possibility? Thank you for your help with this!

  251. Doc says:

    Hello, Kristin,

    From your description, a “silent heat” sounds most likely.

    Your veterinarian can perform a vaginal cytology examination and assess the stage of her estrous cycle.

    See your veterinarian.

  252. Jessica says:

    Hi, I have a labrador she had a litter about 17months ago and has not had a season since??? she had 7 healthy pups last time, shes nearly 3

  253. A Facebook User says:

    hi there have a bit of a problem i have a shipoo and she is in her second heat the problem is i dont no what part and when put with our male as a test she ran around and he ran around like they were playing but she was moving her tail to the side but she never stayed still enough for our male to mount her i went out the room for a second to get somthing and when i came back they were tied together and she was trying to bite him what do i do people told me only a female in heat that is fertile will let the male tie with her and i really dont no as i dont no wha stage shes in but she never seemed interested in him until i found them tied i have now been informed they have tied 8 times in 48 hours could she be pregnant
    her discharge is a light redie pink its light in colour and she whines around him but is not in a rush to go into the room where he is thanks

  254. A Facebook User says:

    hi dont no if you can help me but i do no no the dates of the heat of my poodle but she tied with a male yesterday 6 times but i dont no if shes still in heat because when they were together she kept running behind him smelling him and he smelling her then when he did mount her and they tied she tried to bite him but she wasnt interested in mating with him but they did tie but like i said i dont no if shes still in heat it is her first time mating but her 2nd heat she is 1yr and 5 months thanks

  255. Doc says:

    If the female allowed mounting and a tie occurred, then it is very likely that she is in her fertile period. This fertile period usually lasts about 7 to 9 days. The male is usually interested after that, but the female is no longer receptive.

    The best way to check the pregnancy would be an ultrasound in about 28 days.

    The biting at the male, and the running around, may have more to do with their regular relationship than the state of her heat cycle.

    I hope this helps answer your question.

  256. margaret says:

    hi there my little lhasa apso girl was in season about day 11 of the bleeding stage, she was 7 months old at the time, my maale while we were in the garden got her and locked on to her, she was yelping thats when i noticed, i waited with her and calmed her down, then when he released from her i made a vets appointment which was later that day, he gave her an injection and then the next day another one. he said as long as he doesnt get her the rest of her season she will be ok no pups. which he hasnt got her since, but she is being sick in mornings, not every morning, and is looking bloated, she couldnt be pregnant could she as she is too young,but vet said as long as nothing since having injections there is no way any puppies, is there nything else that can cause this as i know 100% he hasnt got her since injections.

  257. Doc says:

    Hello, Margaret,

    Nothing is foolproof. The injections simply may not have worked. She may be pregnant.

    It is also possible that the dog has developed a uterine infection. This is very serious and you should get her to the veterinarian as soon as possible. If this is the case, and she has a uterus full of pus, then she needs a hysterectomy as soon as possible. This is life-threatening.

    I hope that is not what is going on, but you need to find out, and you need to find out as soon as you can.

    Call your veterinarian.

  258. jay says:

    Hi,

    I have a Min pin, chihuahua mix, i was wondering if i can breed her with a papillon? I already had the testings for dna and all that done and i was wondering if she is to small for him?

  259. Doc says:

    If you have concerns about whether there will be “technical difficulties”, the best bet is to have your veterinarian examine the dogs. This is not something I can advise you about without seeing the dogs as patients.

    Good luck.

  260. Tony W says:

    Hi,

    First, this site is by far the best site I have seen for honest and helpful answers to dog breeding questions.

    We have a two year old cavapoo who is in the midst of her 3rd heat. We were out of town for two days, and when we came home we noticed lots of blood spots on her bed sheets (she sleeps in a doggie bed, and we had a sitter here while we were away). We are “guessing” when her Day 1 was, as there were quite a few blood spots on the bed, which makes us think she had been bleeding for a day or two (or perhaps longer, and we didn’t notice it). In any case, based upon the calculated (best guess) Day 1, we took her to a breeder on Day 8 (she was still spotting red blood) to be paired with a proven male. There was a tie lasting 15 minutes the very next day (Day 9 or even Day 8). For the next several days, there was no tie, although they did try to mate. The male seemed to be struggling a bit. He lost interest with her around Day 12. We brought her home. Today is Day 16. She is still spotting a very little light color fluid, and she is humping the cat, our neighbor’s children, etc.

    Do you think the tie was too early? I am afraid it was too soon, but she allowed it, the male is proven many times over, and he lost interest in here after a few days. Why is she humping now? Is there a good chance she is pregnant?

  261. Doc says:

    Hello, Tony,

    If your dog is still spotting, I believe that I would take her into the veterinarian for a vaginal cytology examination. You want to be sure there isn’t some post-breeding problem.

    It certainly sounds like she was bred a little early, but sometimes the dogs know more than we do.

    The humping thing may just be her wild hormones hanging on.

    I’d be looking for an ultrasound exam at day 28 to determine pregnancy.

    Good luck, and get her in for that vaginal cytology exam.

  262. Kandy says:

    I have a young female Red Heeler & she didn’t have her 1st cycle until she was a year old. She has now started her 2nd cycle & all she did was swell for about a week. No bleeding or anything & has now went out of heat. (frm wht it seems) We were wanting 2 have her bred @least once & then have her fixed. Is this wht is considered a “normal” cycle for a young b*tch.? If it’s not normal, we’r goin 2 get her fixed ASAP so she dn’t get bred on her next cycle.

  263. Doc says:

    Hello, Kandy,

    First cycles can be irregular, even when the bitch is really pretty normal. If you want to breed this dog, then I would talk to your veterinarian about doing vaginal cytology exams on her next cycle to determine her fertile period. If that doesn’t give you definite information, and hormone testing is required, you would probably be ahead to just have her fixed.

  264. Lily says:

    Hi, I have a 22 month old small pom bitch (KOKO) who I am guessing started her heat cycle on Fri – Saturday 4th Aug 12. I also have 2 larger poms – female spayed – male not. I do not want our male pom to breed with her as I have found another smaller male. From Saturday till Tuesday our larger male pom was running around after her acting very interested. Our other spayed female pom was very aggressive to both the male and koko. Every time koko went outside we made sure nothing happened. Thankfully it has not. Today is Wednesday and while I was at work one of my children bathed Koko and since I have been back, our male pom is not interested in koko whatsoever. Do you think bathing was a problem? I checked her over and she doesn’t seem to be bleeding – she isn’t as swollen and has almost no discharge now. My plan was to take Koko to the other smaller male poms home this weekend. Do you think she still may be in season? Or I am just wasting my time. Hoping you have some answers for me. Thanks

  265. Doc says:

    Hello, Lily,

    If the first observation of bloody discharge was 4 days ago, one would expect the bitch to be soon entering her fertile period.

    The male’s loss of interest may be due to social factors, rather than hormonal changes. This is why we normally take the female to the male’s territory, rather than the other way round (where she might defend her territory, rather than being romantic).

    The best way to check this out would be to have your veterinarian perform a vaginal cytology examination. This is quick and inexpensive and can tell you where she is in her cycle.

    Good luck.

  266. raef says:

    my golden retriever female is in heat…and yesterday the discharge turned to be straw coloured not bloody like before, so she can be fertilized at that day yesterday….but everytime the male rides her it doesnt take more than 10 seconds and the female refuses to let him continue riding…what to do?…..btw she’s her first time to mate and its her second period…she’s 1 year and 1 month old

  267. raef says:

    i brought an expert to mate them finaly and the problem was that the hymen was elastic and the man opened it and he used a lubricating cream for the intercourse…..but the question here is…..due to much cream used, the penis didnt stay too much in the female he just tied up in the bitch for 2 mins and it was spilt out due to the cream…..was this a successful mating ? and can she be pregnant now? i need ur answer fast please 🙂 thx

  268. Doc says:

    Hello, Raef,

    There are some lubricants that are toxic to sperm, but surely that wasn’t used.

    It is not necessary for a long “tie” to occur in order for the female to become pregnant. There is really no way to tell you if this first mating has been successful. It could be, but even when things appear to go great and “normal”, you don’t always have a pregnancy result.

    For the best odds of conception, you bring the female to the male and mate at least every other day until she will no longer accept the male.

    Good luck.

  269. raef says:

    thanks man..i ve one more question please…at first, i was trying to mate my bitch to a dark golden retriever male for his colour…but his penis didnt lock in the bitch and when the male trun his back to face the back of the bitch ( the tie position), the over all process didnt take more than 2-3 mins (1 min in the tie position)…i saw the male anus contracting and relaxing( someone told me its a sign of ejaculation)….does the male ejaculated sperms in the bitch or not, and is this 2 mins mating quite enough to get puppoes from this male? NB: the male was exhausted from matting many times before…thanks 🙂

  270. Doc says:

    Hello, Raef,

    The length of time sounds adequate, and it sounds like he did ejaculate.

    If the male had been used excessively, that can lower the sperm count. He can only make the little guys so fast. Using the male more than once daily is not recommended. He can run low on ammunition.

  271. Tammy says:

    I have a Border Terrier, and her heat cycles are light…another words, the bleeding is not bright or heavy at all. Could that be a sing of infertility? I ask because we have had her AI’d twice – they didn’t take. We also chalked it off to timing because we had to have the sperm shipped to us and her progesterone test always showed the best times to be on a Sunday and shipping was never good. We also checked her thyroid and that was fine. She has never had any infections, been very healthy, but just light heats…I don’t know, thought you might.

  272. Doc says:

    Hello, Tammy,

    The amount of bleeding is not really correlated with fertility. If your hormone levels are good, that is certainly a more reliable indicator of her situation.

    If natural service were available (versus AI), that would be the direction I would take with this dog. Timing is difficult with AI (as you have found), and conception rates are generally lower with AI than with natural service.

    Good luck.

  273. Tammy says:

    Thank you so…so much. That makes me feel a little better. We are actually going to the stud next week so fingers crossed!!

  274. raef says:

    my golden retirever was matted a week ago…and i found bugs and fleas on her….how can i treat this issue without harming her embryos? and how to know if she’s pregnant or not without a lap test? i mean signs of pregnancy? and i found most of her nipples are larger than normal (she’s matted 1 week ago) is this a sign of prengancy or a sign of passing through her heat? also her vagina was tight when matted, as we tried to mate her with 4 dogs and it was painful for her with 3 dogs and it went fine with a small sized male…is this a sign that delivery have to be by ceserian cut? thanks bro 🙂 really i found ur site helpful

  275. Doc says:

    Hello, Raef,

    Frontline is safe to use on pregnant animals.

    The best way to diagnose pregnancy is an ultrasound exam at 28 days after breeding.

    The enlargement of the breast tissue is common after the heat cycle, even in dogs that are not exposed to a male.

    The size of the puppies at birth is mainly governed by the size of the mother and the number of puppies that she conceives. IF there are only one or two puppies, they tend to be very large. If she has several, they will be smaller sized.

    It is unlikely that the size of her vagina will cause a problem with delivery unless there is something really abnormal there. Your veterinarian can examine her to be sure.

  276. Shawn says:

    I have a femal boxer that turned 2 in july. Her first heat cycle was @ 6month & has come in heat quarterly since then, she just finished her heat recently, after she was done bleeding my 15 month old male boxer breed her but only once as she is a bit agressive, she then started bleeding again. She had bleed a little bit for a couple days! Is that normal? Could she still have got breed?

  277. Doc says:

    Hello, Shawn,

    It is not normal for the female to bleed again after the breeding. It is possible that there was some trauma during the breeding, particularly if she decided to get aggressive with the male instead of accepting the breeding calmly.

    She certainly could have become pregnant from this breeding.

    I would recommend that you have your veterinarian do a vaginal exam to be sure there is no lasting damage when you take her in for the pregnancy exam (28 days after breeding for ultrasound).

    If she doesn’t “look pregnant” at 28 days, I’d still get a checkup.

  278. Jud says:

    Doc, I have a 4 year old Australian Shepard, I also have 2 other femalesof other breeds. I have had the Aussie bred once but since have never been able to tell when she is in estrus, I dont think their cycles have synced so she has had false heats. Is there anyway tell the difference between a false and real estrus. Or anything I can do to force their cycles to sync?

  279. raef says:

    when can i let my matted dog go out where she can meet other male dogs…her day 1 in the heat was 10/8/2012…which means day today is day 19…and if she’s pregnant, when will she give birth? after 60 days from last day matting or first day matting? last question, when can i notice her nipples getting larger than normal and her abdominal size noticeably increased? thanks doctor

  280. Doc says:

    Hello, Jud,

    It is possible to monitor the dog’s hormone status and vaginal cytology to determine her reproductive state. It is also possible to induce estrus with hormone treatments. I am no expert on this. I have researched it before and would have to do so again.

    It would be best to find a veterinarian who works with reproductive problems on a regular basis.

    The other thing to consider is this: how much do we want to reproduce a dog who is a problem breeder?

    Just a thought.

  281. Doc says:

    Hello, Raef,

    I would keep the female away from males for a full 28 days to be safe.

    Conception can occur up to 5 days after the last mating. Gestation is 63 days, so start counting from the first mating 63 days. Realize that it could be 68 days after the last mating.

    Pregnancy should be easily detectable with ultrasound at 28 days after the last breeding date.

    Swelling of nipples and belly can occur even in dogs that have not been exposed to a male, so that’s not much help.

    If a pregnant dog only conceives one puppy, she may not get very large.

    I would recommend a pre-natal exam and ultrasound at 28 days after the last breeding. If pregnant, I would do an X-ray to count puppies at 8 weeks post breeding. (There is not enough calcium in the puppy skeletons to show up before the last week of pregnancy).

  282. Barbara says:

    My 8 month old Bouvier came in heat on August 4 and she is still in heat on September 3rd. She is extremely swollen back there and has to pee continuously. Isn’t this a long time? I’m taking her to the vet tomorrow to be checked.

  283. Doc says:

    Hello, Barbara,

    This is indeed an abnormally long time for a dog to stay in heat.

    Your visit to the veterinarian is exactly what’s needed.

  284. raef says:

    my golden went into heat on 8th of august, and up to now when she moves beside a male dog who is kept in a cage, he goes smelling her vagina…does this mean she’s still in heat? and if any dog matted her now, will she be pregnant from him?

  285. Doc says:

    Hello, Raef,

    That would be an abnormally long time for the dog to be fertile. Most of the time the cycle is over by four weeks, and the dog is only fertile in the middle third of the cycle.

    It’s not impossible that she’s still fertile, but it is unlikely.

    That being said, the female may still have high enough hormone levels to keep the males interested for quite a while after the actual fertile period.

    Of course, dogs like to smell each other’s privates no matter what the season.

    If you think she might still be in heat, you should have your veterinarian perform a vaginal cytology examination. He/she can examine the cells of the vaginal lining and let you know her status.

  286. raef says:

    thankio dr 🙂
    i ve another question :D, i used to give my dog daily 0.75 kg chicken but with less chicken meat and 4 bread per day…….is this good for a 30 kg dog? i cant buy her dry food…can i give her supplementation? and is this chicken good for calcium for the dog or do i ve to give her calcium supplementation too?

  287. Doc says:

    Meat, including chicken, has zero calcium, and is high in phosphorus, which pulls calcium to it.

    Feeding a mostly meat diet is no good for breeding or growing dogs.

    Dogs in the wild eat the whole animal, not just the meat, and they eat other stuff, too.

    You definitely need to add a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement with what you’re feeding.

    It’s a lot easier to feed a balanced diet with dog food than it is with mixing up table food.

    I’m surprised chicken is cheaper than dog food where you are.

    balanceit.com has recipes and supplements.

  288. raef says:

    no, i feed my dog chicken backs….which is mostly bones…is this good? or do i have to give her supplementation like vitamins and calcium?

  289. Doc says:

    Dogs can’t really digest those bones very well. You’re more likely to have constipation problems than you are to fulfill the dog’s nutritional needs.

    I’d say you do need to balance the diet, and if you’re feeding chicken backs and bread, I’d get a pretty good supplement. Look at the balanceit.com site.

  290. ashley c. says:

    hi i have a very impoRtant question …my female went into heat about 8 days ago. my male had been trying to mount her but of course she wasnt ready.and now that she is …and trying to get his attention to do his thing! but he doesnt seem interested now at first he was going crazy now he wont even try to mount her! what could be the problem! ill be extremely upset if he doesnt do it! i just wound like some input on this! i wish he would just do it! is it possible he lost interest or does that even happen to male dogs! and like i said for the first 6 days he was trying so hard and she was fughting him off! please let me know something ..thanks so much ashley

  291. Doc says:

    Hello, Ashley,

    When two dogs are living together, you always have to consider the dominant/subordinate dynamic. This is why it usually works better to take the female to the male’s territory. There she will not be territorially defensive.

    These two dogs live together all the time. Unfortunately, by allowing the male to attempt mounting constantly when she wasn’t yet to her receptive point, she felt compelled to resist.

    Now it is very likely that he has been whipped enough in the last week that he “knows” it’s going to keep happening. So, “why bother?” And, he may be right. She may have now gotten into the mind-set of having nothing to do with him.

    It is unlikely that you will resolve this situation in this heat cycle.

    I would seek the advice of a behavior specialist so that perhaps you can defuse this situation before the next cycle.

    Alternatively, you could seek the services of another male outside the household.

    Good luck.

  292. Kassidy says:

    I have a Husky/Lab mix who I had planned on breeding when she is suppose to go into heat in November. When we got another female puppy she forced my dog into a very short heat when she went into heat. Does this still mean she will go into heat as normal or will i have to wait longer? Can i force her into heat again when i would like to breed her? If so how would i be able to do that, what would i need, and where would i get the supplies?
    Thank you for your help.

  293. Doc says:

    Hello, Kassidy,

    It is very common for females housed together to cycle together. The mechanism by which this occurs is unknown. It has even been documented in human female room-mates.

    Perhaps this happens so that the “herd” has babies at about the same time instead of strung out for months.

    I cannot predict when your dog’s next heat will occur. Might be the normal time, or several months away.

    Inducing a heat cycle with hormones is possible, but you would need the advice and hands-on assistance of a veterinarian with expertise in canine reproduction. Goofing around with hormones can cause serious medical problems.

    Sorry I can’t give you a quick fix. Thanks for reading and writing.

  294. Dina says:

    Hi, I have a Schnauzer that I’m trying to breed. The male came to the house and he is 8 years old. She just finished bleeding and is very interested. The problem is he is not. She follows him everywhere and he gets mad. Is this normal. He’s been in the house one day. How long should I keep trying. His owner says he’s never been breed before because he rejects the Female. What should I do?

  295. Doc says:

    Hello, Dina,

    Generally speaking, we have better results taking the female to the male’s territory. This gives the male more of a psychological boost, and eliminates the need for the female to defend her territory.

    In this case, it sounds like the male just may not be a good candidate. He’s never been successful at 8 years old and he’s not interested now.

    While you could seek the services of a veterinarian for artificial insemination, I’d be looking for a male with a proven track record.

  296. Nick says:

    We have a peek a poo and she is about 2 1/2 years old. She went into heat right on time for her first cycle but hasnt had another one since. Either didn’t have another or it’s been so mild that we didn’t notice.(no blood). If her hormone levels are out of whack should I be concerned? If they are, how dangerous is it to her and how do they become balanced. Thank you!

  297. Doc says:

    Hello, Nick,

    When dogs are not “in heat”, their female hormone levels are about the same as a neutered male dog. There’s just not much going on for about ten months out of the year with their ovaries.

    For this reason, I’m not too worried about balancing her hormones.

    I would say that it is unlikely that you could successfully breed her.

    The biggest concern I would have would be whether she is having silent heats that might eventually wind up with some uterine trouble if she is not spayed (removal of the uterus and ovaries).

    My recommendation would be to just have her spayed.

  298. Doc says:

    Hello, Alisha,

    Mounting behavior is often part of a dominance display. If the female is mounting the male, she may be the dominant individual in their “pack”. She may or may not allow him to mount.

    I would consult your veterinarian about being sure she is at the fertile and receptive stage of her cycle (usually about day 9, if day 1 is the first day of bloody discharge).

    She may require sedation to be receptive to this particular male where there is already some “history”.

    This is not something I can really help you with in long-distance mode.

  299. Audrey says:

    I have a 2 1/2 year old male and female poodle. She has gone into heat 4 times already and she is letting the male mount her but he doesn’t seem to know what to do. It looks like he is trying to penetrate her anus. How can I fix this? It also looks like she has bruising above her vulva.

  300. Doc says:

    Hello, Audrey,

    If both dogs are cooperative, then you could try guiding the male’s penis for him. Some sterile, non-spermicidal lubricant like K-Y could be used on the vulva, also.

    If this is unsuccessful, then you might consider talking to your veterinarian about artificial insemination.

  301. james ruckh says:

    i have a female boxer thats a little older than 2 and her vulva has swelled twice since weve had her but shes never spotted or had any discharge any answers ?

  302. Doc says:

    Hello, James,

    There are some dogs that have so-called “silent heats”. They just don’t show all the outward signs that you expect, even though their ovaries are cycling more or less normally.

    It is also possible that your dog is not achieving normal hormone levels when she cycles.

    Your veterinarian can do vaginal cytology examinations and check her hormone levels.

    Male dogs are usually VERY good at finding the right time. Unfortunately, that may not help you with a planned mating.

  303. Rena Olson says:

    I have a ten month old female siberian husky who tied with my uncles black lab accidently, i didnt even notice she was in heat because there was no blood. Because he knotted does that guarentee she is pregnant? Her tits are a biy swollen now at 35 days post breeding, but she doesnt seem to be showing at all. She is acting peculiar though, she now prefers to spend time alone in her crate, but there hasnt been any change in her energy level. Before the breeding the male wouldny leave her alone now he completly ignores her altogether no matter how much she bugs him, is there a way to tell if she is pregnant without taking her to the vet? I wad wondering that maybe because she is so young she would have a small litter anf that may be why she isnt showing?

  304. Doc says:

    Hello, Rena,

    A tie does not guarantee pregnancy. It’s just like with people. You don’t always get pregnant the first time.

    Female dogs go through the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy even when they do not get bred, so her behavior changes may or may not indicate pregnancy.

    At 35 days, puppies will be easily detected on ultrasound exam. They cannot be seen on X-rays until about the last week of gestation (the eighth week).

    I don’t know a good home pregnancy test for dogs.

    It is certainly possible that she could have a small litter and you would not see any abdominal enlargement at this stage, or maybe even close to term.

    If you want to know for certain, you will need to see your veterinarian.

  305. Doc says:

    Hello, Carrie,

    One irregular cycle wouldn’t worry me, as long as the dog seems fine otherwise.

    If for some reason she doesn’t seem to be feeling well, then you might want your veterinarian to do at least a CBC (blood count). If she had a uterine infection, you would probably see a high white blood cell count.

    You know your dog better than anyone else. Sometimes “female trouble” doesn’t have a specific outward appearance, like a discharge. Sometimes the dog just doesn’t seem as happy and healthy as she used to. If you see that happening, she needs to go to her veterinarian.

  306. corrina says:

    My Puppy went into her first heat at 7 months old OCT2012)it was fine. However, her vagina is still swollen with no discharge. I don’t know if this is normal because I never had a girl dog. Is this normal?

  307. Doc says:

    Hello, Corrina,

    I would expect the swelling of the heat cycle to subside within a month. That makes what you are describing sound abnormal.

    It is possible that the vulva has just become more fully developed, but if it doesn’t look right to you, I would take her to the veterinarian to make sure.

  308. Mura lee says:

    Hi!
    I have 19 months old healthy GS male. My trainer took him to a bitch in heat for breeding. My dog is not cooperating instead he is very aggressive in attacking her. My trainer brought back my dog.
    Pls. explain how to prepare GS male to coperate in breeding for first time?

  309. myra park says:

    i mated my bitch 2 weeks ago and now it seems she is in season again, vulva swollen and bleeding, does this mean she is not pregnant and if so can i mate her again

  310. Doc says:

    Hello, Myra,

    I would recommend that you have your veterinarian examine the dog and perform a vaginal cytology. This is not a typical situation.

  311. Doc says:

    Hello, Mura Lee,
    Generally speaking, it works best to bring the female to the male’s territory, where he feels more confident.
    For a first-timer, you would want a female who is a proven breeder.
    You may need to seek help from an experienced breeder.

  312. Cynthia says:

    Hello, I have been reading non stop on the comments Q&A and I must say Im very impressed at your commitment in answering each Q’s. however I couldnt help to read all of it as it was overwhelming for me to sit and read each case as Im in a time frame, so I have one to add to the collection 🙂
    I have a Dogo Argentino bitch who turned 8 months on Jan 19 and got her first bleeding and is in heat with swollen vulva since Jan 13th, I also have another dog, a colby bitch whos turning 2yo which she came into heat (her second heat) the next day on Jan 14th after my Dogo. My colby has been bleeding since the 14th (shes on her 8th day today) and her vulva isnt swollen but the middle part between the anus and her vulva is swollen? She also started to bleed bright watery red yesterday (Jan 20th)? We found an excellent colby stud for our colby who has fathered great tempered & healthy puppies before and we tried to have them go at it today but our Colby bitch wasnt having it, this is her first time and we want to breed her to improve the bloodline and keep a puppy fto improve for gaming purposes (the stud is a hunter) I know a vet assistance is a must but I cant afford vet test as they are insanly high in my rural area, Any idea on why shes not accepting him? They played for a bit and he tried to mount her but she kept dipping her butt and sitting down, could it be too soon? Shes already bleeding bright red watery (i read somewhere thats a sign of her estrus cycle) and I have several customers in-line for a puppy. We are thinking on trying again tomorrow and re-introduce them again, shes also the dominant female between the my two bitches and the stud dog came to my house and chose to do so again in the future, I read that if I take her to the males territory it could be better, but what if we keep introducing them, could that change even if shes on her 8th day? Thank you, Cynthia

  313. Cynthia says:

    Hello again, this morning I noticed my colby spotting pinkish-watery and not bright red watery like yesterday, could this mean we have missed the peak? Or maybe shes at the highest point? She started bleeding bright red since saturday, thanks again, cynthia

  314. Doc says:

    Hello, Cynthia,

    The bleeding is usually most evident in the “Pre” phase, before the dog is ready. Usually they will not accept the male until this is starting to clear, around day nine.

    It is best to take the female to the male’s territory so that you don’t have the issue of her being territorial.

    We usually start on day nine (if day one is the first day you noticed bleeding), and breed every other day.

    I strongly suspect that she was not yet to the receptive part of her cycle when you tried previously.

  315. Cynthia says:

    Hi again, a quick update, we are now on day 11 and shes still bleeding, bright red, I did the vulva test and she would flag a little but then stops so Im guessing shes not ready or is unsure. Dosome bitches ovulate at a later day rather than the 9th day I hear about? Thanks again, Cynthia

  316. Doc says:

    Hello, Cynthia,

    There is a not a hard and fast rule. Most bitches are not going to ovulate BEFORE day 9, but it could certainly be several days after.

    Unfortunately, dogs don’t have to read the book and look at the calendar. An individual dog’s cycle doesn’t have to conform to the average.

  317. samantha says:

    Hello, I am wondering if you could give me some answers, I have a female black lab pit mix, she has had 2 litters and now is in heat again. I noticed the bleeding on the 25 and for the past couple of days my male has been going crazy as she is willing to mate. I do not want her to have another litter and she will be getting spayed after her heat cycle. my question is how much longer will my male be going crazy for. its been about three days of her ready to mate. and hes driving him mad. Could you tell me about how much longer until he will stop and anything that may help calm him down!

  318. Doc says:

    Hello, Samantha,

    She will probably be receptive for another four to six days, and be attractive to the mail for another 7 to 10 days after that.

    You really need to talk to your veterinarian about doing anything with sedatives. I can’t prescribe for you without seeing your dog.

  319. Steve says:

    I have 2 Yugoslavian Shepherds that I am planning to breed….My female is 6 months and my male is 3 years. I wanted to wait til my female was at least 2 years old before breeding, however today my male mounted and penetrated her. All of the literature I had read said that females of giant size dog breeds such as this don’t generally become sexually mature until 12-18 mo’s so it all kinda caught me off guard. I’ve heard they generally aren’t fertile until about 4-5 days into the cycle so I’m just wondering if it is possible that she got pregnant this time?? I am planning to take her to a vet but wanted to seek a second opinion as well. Will males attempt to penetrate females as early as day 1 of the heat cycle or could she be further along? They are now fully separated but I don’t want to lose her and am very worried now of the potential of pregnancy really jeopardizing her health.

  320. mel says:

    have two chihuahuas. she’s about 5 or 6 and hes about 3. I didn’t think she had gone into heat yet. I’ve never seen signs of bleeding when she is and I didn’t this time. But he got hold of her last night. she hadn’t been showing signs of being receptive and since i didn’t think she was in heat i wasn’t “on watch”. Could he have gotten hold of her if she wasn’t in heat? There have been no signs that you normally see – him after her and her fighting him off – her teasing him. so i’m a little confused as to whether or not she was in heat and if not how he was able to get her.

  321. Doc says:

    Hello, Steve,

    Males will absolutely try to penetrate females any time they get the chance. The females usually won’t permit it so early in the cycle.

    Getting a vaginal cytology exam from your veterinarian should give you a good idea whether she was into the fertile part of her cycle.

    If so, then Ultrasound examinations for pregnancy at 21 and 28 days should be done. If she is pregnant, prostaglandin treatments can be done to abort the pregnancy.

    The problem for her would be that since she is so young, her pelvis won’t be full-sized by the time she would be delivering the puppies. Thus, the birth canal might be too small for her to have them without a C-section.

  322. Doc says:

    Hello, Mel,

    Some female dogs do not have obvious outward signs of being in heat. However, they still produce pheromones that alert the male dogs.

    It is unlikely that she would have allowed mating if she were not in heat.

    If you don’t want puppies ever, then I would talk to your veterinarian about getting her spayed in the next couple of weeks. Even if she has conceived, the pregnancy would be so small that the surgery should have no unusual complications.

    If you think you might want to have puppies at another time, then you should take her to the veterinarian for a vaginal cytology exam to determine where she is in her heat cycle.

    An ultrasound exam for pregnancy would be done at 21 and 28 days and you could plan accordingly.

    A dog with such irregular cycles may not be able to get pregnant, but it is certainly possible that she will.

  323. Lucy russell says:

    My dog just had puppies and is back into heat but we have to look after one of the puppies for 2 months he is 13 weeks and I am worried he will be interestead in my dog will he ?

  324. Doc says:

    Hello, Lucy,

    Thirteen plus nine is 22 weeks, or a little over five months old. It is VERY unlikely that a dog would enter puberty at such a young age. Certainly not at thirteen weeks of age.

    Will he be “interested” as in curious? Probably so. Will he be “interested” as in able to mate? Extremely unlikely.

  325. carol says:

    hi there i have a queensland heeler she should have come into heat cycle by now. Is it too. cold for her to come into heat yet or does the weather. Does it usually have to be warm before they come into cycle . Concerned now a long trip is in the works soon.

  326. Doc says:

    Hello, Carol,

    Dogs usually have their first cycle at 7 to 9 months of age. Toy breeds usually start sooner, and larger breeds later (sometimes even later than one year of age). They generally have a cycle every six months.

    The weather does not have very much influence on this, as a rule. Unlike cats, which tend to cycle continuously spring through fall, the dog’s cycle seems to be pretty random.

  327. Doc says:

    Hello, Azineth,
    I can’t think of a medicine that you would need to discontinue because the dog is having her heat cycle.

    There are medicines that could affect conception or pregnancy, however.

    You should ask your veterinarian about the medicine your dog is taking. He/she knows your pet and is your best source of information.

  328. navdeep sidhu says:

    i have female pitbull age near about 10 months .she is in first heat now.should i miss it or should i mate her with dog ??

  329. Doc says:

    Hello, Navdeep,

    Generally speaking, it’s better to wait until the female is full grown before her first pregnancy. That way resources for her own growth are not diverted to the pregnancy. Also, her birth canal will be as big as it can be. Thus, she would be less likely to have problems with delivery of the pups.

  330. Novak says:

    My young female newfoundland did menstruate for her first time last May 2012. We want her to be pregnant (we have a male don´t worry) but our vet said to wait the second time. Then 6 months later in Novembre she nothing happened, december, january, february…nothing. What´s happening ? Will she ever menstruate again ? thanks.

  331. Doc says:

    Hello, Novak,

    Any dog can be irregular in the first cycles.

    While dogs do have a bloody discharge (usually), it is not menstruation, but a different process.

    If there is no outward sign of estrus (“Heat”), then there may be something wrong with her reproductive tract.

    Usually the male is your best indicator of whether or not the bitch is cycling. If there is a male on the premises, he will let you know.

    If there is no male on the premises, then you need to contact a veterinarian who works with reproductive problems regularly to measure her hormone levels over a period of several months.

  332. Doc says:

    In pregnancy, you would expect the swelling of the vulva (outer female parts) to go down, and over time the breast tissue would enlarge (not a part of the heat cycle).

    Also, there would be no bloody discharge with pregnancy, and she should not be attractive to the males.

  333. marie says:

    My Great dane is going to b 2 on April 1st and has never had a heat. She had a small string of blood like a clot. Is she going to start soon? Im worried!! Please help!!

  334. Doc says:

    Hello, Marie,

    While giant breed dogs are often slow to mature, I would have expected her first heat cycle long before now.

    If she has a bloody discharge, you really should take her to your veterinarian to determine if she is starting a heat cycle or has some type of medical problem.

  335. brandy sparks says:

    i have a 1 yr old German Shepard that is in her first heat, my male got to her today but she was receptive, he over powered her, she was still bleeding yesterday, what is the chances of her taking? we are scared that it is going to cause her to stop growing.

  336. Doc says:

    Hello, Brandy,

    If she was still bleeding and not receptive, she has a fairly low chance of getting pregnant. However, the sperm do live for a few days in the female reproductive tract, so she might ovulate later and still get pregnant.

    If she has a pregnancy at this age, it will divert some of her resources from growth to the pregnancy, so it might stunt her a little.

    Have your veterinarian do an ultrasound pregnancy exam at 28 days. The pregnancy can be terminated if desired (if she actually is pregnant).

    Keep the male away from her, as she may get pregnant the next time if she didn’t this time. You’re looking at 3 or 4 weeks of separation.

  337. Kat O'Connell says:

    Hello, I have a APBT female 7 months old. This is her first reall heat. We are into the second phase she is in diapers, and watched constantly. My concern is she has a very foul smell that is coming from her behind, it leaks out and actually runs down her legs. She also is squating all the time for up to 3 mins some times can’t make it to the door. This fluid (not pee) is clear and reeks to high heaven. Her appetite has decreased also. Is this normal. I am not spaying her as she is my $1200.00 pure bred that will be attending her first show in June.

  338. Doc says:

    Hello, Kat,

    This is not something that is normal or expected as part of the heat cycle.

    It sounds more like a urinary tract infection.

    You really need to take her to your veterinarian to sort this out.

  339. Doc says:

    Hello, Yari,

    If the mating took place on day 15, it is possible that she is now going out of heat. Each of three phases of the cycle lasts an average of 7 to 9 days. 7 plus 7 is 14. If the second phase is over, then the female would no longer be receptive.

    Pregnancy testing can be done with a Relaxin hormone test when it has been at least 30 days post breeding, or an ultrasound exam any time after 28 days post breeding.

  340. heather says:

    I have a female boxer who will be 2 in july. She has had her 1st heat back in sept, and dont show any signs of 2nd heat and we are wanting to breed her, already have a gorgeous healthy male waiting;)

  341. Doc says:

    Hello, Heather,

    Heat cycles average six months apart, so you’re not very far behind schedule. September is six months before March.

    She is certainly old enough now.

    Good luck.

  342. Emily says:

    Hi my lhasa apso bitch is just over one year her last full season was november and being her first she recently showed signs of being back in heat so i took her to kennel club assured breeder she had the bitch there 4-5 days with her lhasa apso dog they played she stood tail to side backing in to him he mounted she played back on the 3rd day she found a little pile of discharge i took her home its been a week she not showing but still pushes her self into my mums 8year old spayed shih tzu? Could this have been a false heat or is she in pup? the stud dogs owner said it was a false season but a week after she looks like shes “going out” im very worried about her plus our village vet has just passed away what should i do? Thank you very much.

  343. Doc says:

    Hello, Emily,

    In very young dogs, the heat cycles can be irregular.

    The best way to evaluate her at this point would be a vaginal cytology exam, which will require the assistance of a veterinarian.

    This would tell you which stage of the heat cycle she is in, whether she has already ovulated or not.

  344. Chrissy Marshall says:

    I have a toy poodle who started bleeding on March 28th. What days would she be most fertile? Her vulvar is not swollen very much and the discharge is more pinkish now than red.

  345. Doc says:

    Hello, Chrissy,

    We usually recommend that you begin taking the female to the male on day 9 (with day 1 being the first day of bleeding), and breed every second day until she will no longer accept the male.

    The discharge will usually be clear by 7 to 9 days.

  346. stu says:

    I have 4 year old westie can’t catch her heat cycle and want to breed is there any way can find out off vet or advice as to how to find out thanks

  347. sonja says:

    Hi i have a 8 month old mastiff cross huskey she started her first heat 3 weeks ago i also have a male golden/lab mix and he would like alot but never tried to mount her, so i thought we were good now that its been 3 weeks. She still has a little bit of spotting and just yesterday he was going mental trying to mount her every few seconds. But because of our tiled floor he could never get her, and she would sit all the time. Why would it take so long for him to be acting like this, and she wants nothing to do with him, which is good as she is still to young………help me please he is driving me nuts and her………

  348. Doc says:

    Hello, Stu,

    If you are not seeing outward signs of the heat cycle, then the only way that I know of to assess this is repeated blood tests to look at her hormone levels.

    Sometimes a male dog on the premises is a lot better than you are at figuring this out. That’s the only “home remedy” suggestion I can give you.

  349. Doc says:

    Hello, Sonja,
    Such an early heat cycle in a giant breed dog is often irregular, not following the 3-phase pattern of 7 to 9 days each.

    The mounting behavior sometimes is dominance-related, but in this case is probably due to the pheromones the female is putting out. Generally the male finds the female attractive throughout the cycle, even though she is only receptive in the middle part, which is usually after the bleeding stops.

    It is possible that her hormone levels weren’t high enough to get the male interested before. I would not expect her to be receptive at this point, but that could change any day.

    In addition, with dogs that live together, the social dynamic also enters into the equation. This is particularly true when the female is the “top dog”. She simply refuse mating because she won’t accept a dominant gesture from the male. Even if she is subordinate to the male, she may have resentment about something else that makes her unreceptive to him.

    To be safe, I would separate the dogs not only during the blood spotting, but for at least one week afterward, maybe two.

  350. Jennifer says:

    Hello I have a 5 yr old male shatitzu cross terrier & a 9 month old femal puppy Maltese shahitzu cross. She went on her first heat 2 half months ago. We kept them separated &?she has shown no signs of being pregnant. Yesterday my male dogs keeps sniffing her & tries to hump herb I’m trying to find out why he is doing this as she isn’t on heat again & she not due to being on heat again yet

  351. Doc says:

    Hello, Jennifer,

    The heat cycle is often irregular in young dogs. While it has certainly not been the usual six months since her first estrous cycle, it is possible that she is coming into heat again.

    If in doubt, let your veterinarian check the female with a vaginal cytology examination.

  352. Nat says:

    Hi
    I have a 3 nearly 4 year old mini Schnauzer, I have done lots of research and ready to breed for the 1st time.
    My girl seem to bleed for about a day or so and now on day 7.
    I been in contact with an accredited breeder and have a lovely stud for her to go to who is 2. However when taking her up there he seemed very interested and she was flagging and pushing her bum towards him, she would also stand for him but nothing seems to of happened. He mounts her and is very keen but doesn’t seem to be getting hard (sorry for being so graphic) she said I can keep him for a few days but is my girl ready? There seems to be no discharge or swelling? Help!! Thanks

  353. Doc says:

    Hello, Nat,

    I would recommend that you take her to your veterinarian for a vaginal cytology examination to help assess her state of readiness.

  354. Nicky says:

    I have a 9 month old sprocker who came out of season 3 weeks ago. During her season I was really careful to ensure that no other male dogs went near her.
    Since her first season finished My dog seems to sleep a lot and has becomes more chilled out and I have noticed that her nipples are still hard but the ducts under under nipples seem to be getting bigger.
    Any advise would be grateful.
    Thanks!

  355. Doc says:

    Hello, Nicky,

    Female dogs always go through the hormonal changes associated with pregnancy after they have a heat cycle. This is true even when there is no exposure to a male, much less a pregnancy.

    Sometimes this is so mild that it requires a blood test to detect. In some dogs it is very pronounced, leading to milk in the breasts, sagging abdomen and nest-making behavior. We call this “false pregnancy” or pseudocyesis.

    Usually this resolves with no treatment needed. If any doubt about exposure to a male exists, then an ultrasound at day 28 post heat or later will detect the pregnancy (if present).

    Dogs that have repeated severe false pregnancy episodes should be spayed if breeding is not contemplated at a young age. The repeated false pregnancies really increase the likelihood of uterine infections.

  356. amanda gleave says:

    hi I have a female staff she is 9 1/2 months old she hasn’t had her first cycle yet. we got a male today we were told 10 months old they r playing away but he tries mounting her and tries but his wee thing isn’t out lol don’t want to be rude lol is this ok or is she going to start her cycle I haven’t noticed any discharge thanks

  357. Doc says:

    Hello, Amanda,

    Mounting behavior is not always sexually related. Sometimes it is just play in a dog this age. Often it is a dominance behavior, literally trying to be the “top dog”.

    Look for swelling of the vulva (external female parts) and bloody discharge.

    First heat cycles can occur this early, or can be later than one year of age.

    Watch the dog, not the calendar.

  358. amanda gleave says:

    had a look at the female parts but not sure what im looking for it looked fine but there looks like theres something like a ball hard to explain what it looks like. thanks

  359. Doc says:

    Hello, Amanda,
    “Something like a ball” doesn’t sound all that normal.

    Time to let your veterinarian take a look.

  360. Carin says:

    I have a 3 yr old male husky whom hasn’t bred before. We are breeding him with a 19 month old. They have been seeing each other every other day for a couple of hours (at the males house) since about day 3. She will flag my male but every time my male even places his head over her and thinks about mounting her, she whips around and nips him. she has has been at my house since day 13 without returning home. My male seems to have little interest in her now. Also, the female bled on the first day then stopped till the 12-13 day, then just spots on occasion. Could this be a or split heat? And why would it seem like she is never interested although she flags?

  361. Doc says:

    Ideas:
    #1. Have your veterinarian do a vaginal cytology, plus possibly hormone levels to see what the situation is with the female. This is certainly not a typical heat cycle.

    #2. If you really want to use this male for breeding, I would be looking for a cooperative female with a proven track record. If his first experiences are traumatic, he could certainly lose interest.

  362. Sheena says:

    I have a mini dash. Two years old. She had pups March 28th she should be “comming in” heat yesterday. If they have babies does that change their heat cycle because she should be ready on the 28th to breed.is it 6 months from heat cycle to heat cycle or start six months after she had pups for her new heat cycle?

  363. Doc says:

    Hello, Sheena,

    It is six months from heat cycle to heat cycle, even if they have a litter of puppies. This may not be exactly six months, of course.

    Two months of pregnancy, plus two months of nursing, equals two months of rest before next heat cycle.

    Two litters a year can wear out some of these girls. Be sure she is in great shape before breeding her back.

  364. Brittney Williams says:

    I have a 3yo female chihuahua, she came into heat 2weeks ago..this week is her 3rd week..anyway, she was bred this past weekend and tied with the male. She whined during this but otherwise appeared normal. Today I noticed she’s started spotting again. it’s definitely not as heavy or as frequent as it was at the beginning of her cycle but I was wondering, is this normal? she’s not acting any differently; she’s been eating, drinking, prancing, and playing like normal. if anything she has more energy!

  365. Doc says:

    Hello, Brittney,

    There may not be a big problem, but I would not consider it normal to see her spotting again at this point.

    I would recommend that you let your veterinarian check her, with at least a vaginal cytology exam.

  366. Teresa Valencia says:

    I am having the same issue as Brittney, I have a 2.5 year old Cocker that we bred with a Miniature Poodle, I left her with the Stud for 4 days but they ended up tying three times on the last 2 days, once on the third night and twice by dinner time the fourth day.
    It’s been 4 days since the last breeding and I notice she is having bloody discharge again. Could this be her body rejecting the pregnancy or a reaction to being tied so often so close together?

  367. Doc says:

    Hello, Teresa,

    Possibly there was some trauma during the breeding. There wouldn’t be enough pregnancy development by this time to produce a noticeable discharge.

    You should see your veterinarian.

  368. mary davis says:

    i have a 13 year old Lhsapo she has not been in heat for over 9 months is she done do dogs go into menapause like humans as her heats have become shorter and further apart in the past 2 years when for 10 years it was every 6 months ..

  369. Doc says:

    Hello, Mary,

    Some elderly dogs do stop cycling or have irregular cycles.

    Older intact females are at some risk for uterine infections and breast tumors. Be alert for any lumps or swelling in the breast area, vaginal discharges, swelling of the abdomen, changes in water consumption and urination. These can be warning signs of serious medical problems.

  370. derick barrel says:

    Hello i have a female saint bernard/boxer mix and a male chihuahua. Do you think they could ever mate so my female saint bernard/boxer mix can have puppies?

  371. Doc says:

    Hello, Derick,

    It sounds like a bad idea to me. Heaven knows what the puppies would grow up to look like, or what health problems they might have.

    I have seen a Collie and Dachshund cross where the Dachshund was the father. It’s always a mistake to underestimate the sex drive.

  372. elaine says:

    I have a female Siberian husky and she will go into heat and bleed but her lady area never seems to do any swelling to allow my male to mate

  373. Doc says:

    Hello, Elaine,

    The bleeding usually stops about the time that she will be ready to ovulate, 7 to 9 days after it starts.

    At this time, I would recommend that you have your veterinarian perform a vaginal cytology examination to see if she is cycling normally. He/she might also need to check some hormone levels.

    A good vaginal exam should also be done to see if there is any physical obstruction to mating.

    Sometimes dogs that live together have other social relationships that make the female unwilling to allow breeding with the house-mate.

  374. Jessica says:

    Hi, I have a 2 year old English bulldog and she hasn’t gone into heat. Do you know if this is normal for this breed. I have taken her to the doctor and he said she was ok???? I don’t want to breed her just make sure its normal.

  375. Jessica says:

    Oh and I forgot to mention I found her in the streets and no one ever came around and searched for her. Ive always thought that maybe that’s why they didn’t care to ever look for her, because she wasn’t going into heat to breed her. 🙁

  376. Doc says:

    Hello, Jessica,

    It’s not really normal for a dog never to have a heat cycle. I don’t know how long you’ve had her, but if it’s been a year of more, I would certainly expect to have seen a heat cycle by now.

    Some dogs do have normal ovaries, but they just don’t show a lot of outward signs, a so-called “silent heat”.

    Hormone measurements can be done to see what’s going on. This can be expensive, though.

    Sometimes a dog that has been spayed at a very young age doesn’t have a visible scar. It’s possible that she doesn’t have any ovaries or uterus.

  377. Kimberly says:

    I have a female basset hound who is a little over a year now. I plan on breeding her with another basset when she’s two. She seems to come in heat every 3 months. She first came in heat around mid April & had a second one in early August. I’ve heard that if a dog comes in heat every three months, that she isn’t able to get pregnant bc she’s wasn’t very fertile. Is this true?

  378. Doc says:

    Hello, Kimberly,

    Most dogs come into heat every six months. Every 3 months would be out of the ordinary. However, dogs this young often have irregular cycles for the first couple of times.

    I wouldn’t be worried about this as yet.

  379. Hanna says:

    My femal has been in heat for about 10 days now. But she wont stand for our male. I know she wont let him breed with her till she is ready, but is it taking longer then usual? Our male is all into her already but she chases him off

  380. Gina says:

    Hi my Maltese is two and a half years old she is on her 10th day after her first stain she doesn’t let the male Maltese approach her (keep in mind that she hasn’t come in contact with other dogs, this is her first time). Can you please tell me if its in her nature and should I insist bringing them together.

  381. Doc says:

    When the two dogs live together, we sometimes find that their social dynamic is part of the problem. She sometimes is dominant toward the male.

    It usually works best if you take a female to the male’s “territory”. Then she doesn’t feel any impulse to defend her turf. When two dogs share the same household, this is difficult to accomplish.

    It is also possible that the female is just not ready, even though day 9 is typically a good day to start.

    I would recommend that you let your veterinarian check the dog’s stage of her cycle.

  382. Danielle Jones says:

    Hi,

    We have a 9 month old miniature daschund that has been in heat for the past 3-4 weeks. We also have 2 male jack Russell terriers about 25-30lbs. which we have been keeping them apart but there were times when my husband said they could have gotten together without his knowledge as he fell asleep a couple of times when they were both out side…he was not aware she was still in heat…he thought that after they stopped bleeding that it was over. Which he now knows is not true. Now her nipples have started becoming inflamed and creating pouches that seem to be filling quite quickly every other day. Is it safe to let her have the puppies because of the father being 30 lbs and a different breed? I’m worried for her because she is small and so young. But I also don’t know how many times they were able to get to her…it may have only been once..my mother said that she could have complications and die…is this true. She is so special to me and I can’t imagine losing her to this negligence on my husbands part. We have an appointment to take her to the vet but please any advice is appreciative.

    Thanks,
    Danielle

  383. Doc says:

    Hello, Danielle,

    The size of the pups at birth is more determined by the size of the mother and how many pups she conceives. The size of the father doesn’t contribute much to the size at birth, though it certainly will contribute to the adult size of the puppy.

    If the mother only conceives one or two pups, they tend to be large and may be difficult to deliver. Four to six pups are usually delivered easily. Large litters will have smaller puppies, but sometimes mom gets exhausted and quits trying to push out the last one.

    Your veterinarian can help you with determining the numbers and size of the puppies, and with advice on what to watch for at delivery time.

  384. Mona says:

    Hi: We have male and female AKC mini Doxies. The male is almost 4 and the female is 2. We bought the female to breed to the male, but she stayed pretty small and he is a “tweenie,” so we thought better of it because we were afraid the puppies might be too large for her. However, last Sept. Fudge got to her, somehow, and she had 1 puppy. It was a little harry-scarry, because the puppy was a little large, but we got through it with both female and puppy safe and healthy. We have since sold that beautiful pup. We had her skip a cycle and planned on sending her back to the breeder we bought her from to bred to a smaller stud. The cycle we skipped, however, was weird. She just barely had one and even our male was not much interested in her. She has gone into heat again and has been up with the breeder for more than a week, but it seems like she is having another stunted cycle. Could having the larger puppy done something to her that could be keeping her from having a normal cycle? She was a great mom and is a very healthy, frisky dog.

  385. Doc says:

    Hello, Mona,

    Many immature dogs have irregular cycles, but they can occur any time.

    I do not see how having a difficult delivery would affect her ovaries.

    At this point, if the cycle is not productive, I would say that the next step would be to have your veterinarian look at her vaginal cytology, and maybe her hormone levels. An ultrasound exam of the uterus and ovaries may tell you something, but you will need a very skilled sonographer to tell much about the ovaries with an ultrasound.

  386. Lora Van Sickle says:

    My jack Russell is in her second heat cycle. Both times she has bled the whole time we are on the 19th day. I have bred German Shepherds for years and have never seen this, why would this be ?

  387. Doc says:

    Hello, Lora,

    Many young dogs have irregular heat cycles.

    I would suggest that you have your veterinarian follow the heat cycle with repeated vaginal cytology exams.

  388. Kennedy says:

    I have a cocker spaniel that I want to breed. She has started bleeding today, what day would be the best to take her to the stud, so that she gets pregnant?

  389. Doc says:

    Generally, if day “one” is the first day you notice bleeding, most dogs will be receptive to the male and fertile by day nine.

    If you are not following her vaginal cytology or hormone levels, then take her to the male on day nine. Try to breed at least every other day until she will no longer accept the male.

    Your best resource in case of problems is always the veterinarian who actually knows your dog.

  390. Starr says:

    I have a male and female yorkie. We just got our female yesterday, and my boyfriend has had the male for about 5 years. The female is 2 years old and the male is 5-6 years old. She’s coming into heat and getting swollen. But she’s acting aggressive toward the male when he tries to “get” her. She hasn’t bled yet, and we’re wanting to breed them. Is her behavior normal? Do you think she’ll let him mate with her when the time comes? This is our first time breeding. Thanks

  391. Doc says:

    Hello, Starr,

    I would avoid pushing them together before the female reaches her receptive period. If the first day of bloody discharge is considered day #1, then most females will be fertile and receptive around day 9.

    Take the female to the male’s territory so that she doesn’t feel she has to defend her home territory. Give him the “home field advantage”.

    If uncertain about how her cycle is proceeding, your veterinarian can help by performing a vaginal cytology exam in the office. This lets you see what stage of the cycle you are in.

  392. Lillie Edwards says:

    I have a yorkie,2 years old who is in heat,she is flagging and backing up to the male who is the same size a her, about 4 lbs,when he tries to mount her she begins to welp and cry,, when he stops trying she backs up to him again wanting him to mount her ,why is she making those sounds

  393. Doc says:

    Hello, Lillie,

    I would be concerned that there is some problem with her vulva. You should let your veterinarian examine her.

  394. Lillie Edwards says:

    He isn’t penetrating her, Just when he tries to ,She has never mated before, thinking maybe she is just scared but anxious at the same time,

  395. Doc says:

    Lillie,
    This is entirely possible, but with what you are describing, an exam would be my next step if things don’t work out on their own.

  396. Ashley says:

    My dog was in heat 6 months ago basically she had her first heat cycle in August , we mated her a week after she started her cycle but, 2 months later she had no babies, not even pregnant why didn’t she have babies? My second question was now it’s been 6 months what do I do when she has her heat cycle again??

  397. doc says:

    Hello, Ashley,

    The most common recommendation is to take the female to the male starting about day 9 of the cycle (if day 1 is the first day of bleeding). Breeding every 2 days until she will no longer accept the male is recommended to give the highest chance of conception.

    With only one mating, the timing may be off for conception. While the sperm do live several days in the female, they have to be live and vigorous when she ovulates. The time of ovulation is not necessarily the day of mating.

    A dog’s first heat cycle also can be irregular. Your chances are greater with the second cycle when she is more mature.

  398. nicolene says:

    even though i tried to keep my 7 mnth old jack russel away from my 1 1/2 year old male, they found each other and did what they were not suppose to. I am relatively sure that she might be pregnant. I know she is to young. Will she and the newborns be ok during giving birth.

  399. doc says:

    Hello, Nicolene,

    Her chance of having problems is a little greater than if she were fully mature. She will probably be okay, but I would definitely recommend a checkup with your veterinarian about 4 weeks post-mating. He/she can tell you what to look for and how to prepare.

  400. Ena Mantzouranis says:

    Hello wise vet,
    My question is I tried to breed my bitch a second time, being 6 and a half, she is from some rare lines and has everything many people dream about and want. It took time to find the right male and one they would let me use. A few seasons ago she went 9 months before coming on heat. All up to that point she was regular. When on heat I went to the male, several days travel, we ended having the vet take it and put it in, she had trouble holding him up. There was no pups. 6 months later we returned, knowing this male was 9 yrs old,they tired twice and thought it would be fine, but still no pups. He is very experienced, we had no problems with him doing the jig. But sadly he had passed away.
    So I chose to use a younger dog 4 and a half with same lines sort of. Now this male is so handler focused, he cares for nothing else but his owner. I get a prog test done and was told I had today and tomorrow, so off to introduce them for the first time living 5 to 6 hours away.
    This male 1 was scared of her and had not interest, 2 only cared about his handler. He smelled her a little but to me he was scared of her and not interested in her, he loved someone else. She tried to play with him, he wasn’t interested, she tried mounting him, made him more scared. She was giving him her rear end, nothing worked.
    So we let out the other male 7 yrs old who is overly protective, he doesn’t like anyone or any other living thing, but didn’t care I was there, he followed her around and with a little work would of had him pumping swimmers I believe. But he isn’t the one I wanted to use. Though she let both know she was the boss and liked the older dog more. But the male was scared to mount her. He would put a paw on her lightly and then let it drop a couple of times. Now the owner of the boys is blaming my girl and say there is something wrong with her. My dog plays and gets around with other dogs, she tried to play, they didn’t care. They have gone through a stage when they had another male there who got sick, and both the males had no problem wanting to mount him. But got corrected to stop that which with the older dog I think it remembered it was a no no. The second day I went I asked to handler/owner not to be there, hoping he wouldn’t be there when I got there, no to be. So he left after a bit and all the dog kept doing was running trying to look in the mirrored windows for his master. My girl chased him around the yard and gave up, she kept looking towards the sound of the other dog locked inside somewhere.
    I don’t believe it is my girl, he is trying to tell me she can come in at day 21, though after doing the prog test, I don’t see her coming in twice.
    We took them to the breeding clinic, and the vet gave up trying to get anything, they boy gave the first bit they do but wasn’t getting excited. The breeding vets I thought would have some smelly thing there to see if another smell would work, but they didn’t.
    Seeing the bitch was willing and the boy not, they are both maidens and don’t socialize with others. He is saying she didn’t smell right, which could be the case, not.
    Could you please give me your take on it. I am getting sick and tired of him saying it is my girl, when I believe it to be his boy/boys. They have never breed before, I have once with both dogs being maidens and they played and then did it. And when a bitch offers herself she is ready.
    Sorry for such a long story, I’m not worried about no litter, it just seems I have lost a friend because he we both believe we are right.

    Cherri

  401. doc says:

    Hello, Cherri,

    I understand your dilemma. When two people are pretty certain they are right, but they don’t agree, it can be hard to reconcile.

    Most things have a spectrum of rightness. We are more right about part of it, and maybe less right about part of it.

    From your description, it does sound like the males are the problem. My question would be whether they have been successful in breeding other females. If not, that would suggest they are the problem.

    If they have been previously successful, then the males don’t get all the blame. Sometimes dogs just don’t get along, and you may have to look for another alternative.

    You usually do best to take the female to the male, as you have done. I would certainly look for an experienced proven male.

    If your female is truly overly aggressive, your veterinarian may be able to prescribe a light tranquilizer for the next attempt.

    I agree with you that at 21 days she is unlikely to be either receptive or fertile.

    Good luck.

  402. doc says:

    Hello, Jessica,

    Once the cycle is truly over (probably around 3 to 4 weeks after the bleeding started, 2 to 3 weeks after the bleeding stops), she is unlikely to allow any dogs to mate with her.

  403. Mandy says:

    Our 3 year old lab bitch went to stay with a chosen dog on day 5 of her cycle and was there for 12 days but with no result. The dog kept trying but she kept sitting down. She is now on day 17 but still is not interested but she is still bleeding. Is it normal or have we missed it. It is the first attempt at mating her. Her last season she had a phantom

  404. doc says:

    Hello, Mandy,

    It sure sounds like she’s not ready yet, but it is pretty unusual to keep bleeding for such a long period of time. Seven to nine days is average.

    I’d recommend at least a vaginal cytology examination at your veterinarian, maybe check some hormone levels, too.

  405. Cece says:

    I have a female boston terrier that is 16 months old, on day 3 of bleeding on her second cycle. My male is 10.5 months old. When the time is right will they bread? are they old enough?

  406. doc says:

    Hello, Cece,
    They are old enough. The female will usually become receptive to males as the bleeding stops, around day 7 to 9 (if day 1 is first day of bleeding), though this is variable.

    Whether they will breed depends on their social relationship. If she is “top dog”, she may resist the male on that basis.

    This is why we usually take females to the male’s home, rather than the other way around.

    Housemates that get along well may get along “romantically” just fine.

    I can’t predict what will happen with your dogs.

  407. kim says:

    Hey there, I dunno how old my female is but she’s graying. She’s just been in a heat cycle and she was around my unneutered male but he’s never been too bright in getting anywhere with her.

    However now I’m noticing blood clots and she’s bleeding everywhere in that manner, my male isn’t interested in her anymore so I’m just a little confused. But it’s a dark colour and it has been clotting, at first it was just a large amount out of her vagina when she would lay down but now it’s clots and a little bit now. Is this something I would need to take her to the vets for? Just she hasn’t had this in the four years we’ve had her.

    Thanks

  408. doc says:

    Hello, Kim,
    If we are talking an elderly intact female, who finished her cycle, and now is having a bloody discharge, I really think she needs to see her veterinarian.

    This could be a uterine infection that needs major treatment. If that is the case, leaving it untreated is pretty dangerous.

    I would make an appointment as soon as you can.

  409. Julie Charlton says:

    I have a female goldendoodle that is 2.5 years old. I have tried to breed her 3 times and each time she is not receptive to the male. We’ve had them together many times beginning with the 9th day and she will let him smell her but she never gets interested enough to let him mount. I’ve had her hormone levels tested and everything is fine. I’ve tried 3 different males. She is currently on day 22 and the owner of the stud dog still thinks she is not ready. I’m beginning to think she’ll never be ready. Any suggestions?

  410. doc says:

    Hello, Julie,

    Most dogs would be past ovulation and their receptivity to the mail by day 22, but there’s no hard and fast rule.

    A vaginal cytology examination by your veterinarian would let you know whether she has ovulated and passed the peak of fertility.

    If she hasn’t ovulated yet, then I’d keep trying, assuming this is an experienced male who has been successful with other females (a very important point).

    If she has passed her fertile period, then apparently you have a dog without much interest in mating. If you are bound and determined to have puppies from her, you may have to resort to artificial insemination.

    See where you are with a vaginal cytology exam first.

  411. Alida says:

    Hi my female is in season on day 8 of colour but my male (who used to climb all over her 24/7) now seems to have no interest in her other than giving a lick and a smell every now and again,what could it be ,there are no dogs hanging around the yard either??

  412. doc says:

    Hello, Alida,

    The best advice I can give you would be to have your veterinarian to check a vaginal cytology exam and see what stage of heat she is actually in. Also, you want to make sure this is not some other type of vaginal discharge.

  413. Helena says:

    Hello,
    My almost 5 year old female rat terrier whom we adopted from a rescue about 6 mths ago was reportedly spayed now appears to be in heat. She started bleeding a couple of days ago, and we want to know if it’s necessary to have her go through another surgery to clean out the remnants left behind. We’re willing to put up with the bleeding twice a year, unless it’d be better for her health long term. Please advise. Thank-you!

  414. doc says:

    Hello, Helena,

    My personal feeling is that it would be better to go ahead and get this taken care of.

    If a remnant of the ovary has been left (which is what it sounds like), then you have the hormones being secreted. This is what we really want to stop with spaying. Not just to get rid of the bleeding, but to remove the hormone influence on the breast tissue, and reduce the likelihood of tumors.

    Also, if a remnant of ovary has been left behind, it is also possible that the uterus was not completely removed. Thus, you are still at risk of a uterine infection as she ages.

    The best time to look for the ovarian remnant is while she is in heat. That is when it is the largest and easiest to find.

  415. arkan says:

    I have a female yorkie who is 2 years old she had her 1st heat cycle when she was 14 month year old. She stop bleeding on 29th Augt. 2013. Now we are in May 17th 2014 and until now , there is no sign of bleeding, please help I am real worried.

  416. doc says:

    Hello, Arkan,

    Toy breeds often have irregular heat cycles.

    Talk to your veterinarian about checking hormone levels, or possibly ultra-sound exam of her uterus.

    It is remotely possible that she has a low-grade uterine infection.

    Some dogs just have irregular cycles instead of every 6 months.

    Your best bet is to have your veterinarian examine her and discuss your concerns.

  417. Zivela says:

    Hi, I have read all the comments above and am still abit confused. I have a Maltipoo, last cycle she was mounted, tied more than once and did not get pregnant. This cycle she was mounted and tied at least four times over 3 days, but she is still bleeding! Is bleeding after the estrus period normal? Could she be barren?

  418. doc says:

    Hello, Zivela,

    There are certainly dogs who are not fertile. It sounds like she is having regular cycles, so her ovaries are producing hormones.

    It is possible that the uterus is abnormal.

    It is not really normal for the dog to continue bleeding after the cycle. It is possible for dogs to bleed longer than the nine days, but if the dog is continuing to bleed after she has quit accepting the male, that really is not normal. I would recommend that you have her examined by your veterinarian.

    Is the male a proven sire? Was the same male used both times? Sometimes the female is fine, but the male has a low sperm count.

    This is a situation that can have a lot of factors involved. You need to discuss this in person with your veterinarian.

  419. Maria DSouza says:

    Hi
    We have 2 GSD 9 months old female pups. One has come on heat and today being the 9th day, she is very uncomfortable. Since we are keeping her in the kennel to avoid accidents, she keeps calling us to let her out. Is this normal to show such discomfort when she is ovulating?
    Other girl from the same litter, has not shown any signs of coming on heat. Is there anything to worry about?

    Maria

  420. doc says:

    Hello, Maria,

    I would not be worried about the dog who has not yet come in heat. Larger breed dogs often do not have their first heat cycle until somewhat older.

    We generally do not recommend breeding at less than one year, as the dog’s resources for growth are diverted to the pregnancy. Also, the birth canal is not as big as it will be at maturity.

    So, a later onset of heat is not a problem, really. I have seen some large-breed dogs have their first cycle AFTER one year of age.

    As to the dog in heat, if you feel she is in distress, you should have your veterinarian take a look at her.

    Being in heat does not cause physical discomfort as a general rule. However, with the hormones flowing, there is an urge to get out and seek a male. So she could definitely be having some spiritual distress in her confinement. Also, if she isn’t getting her usual exercise, that tends to distress the pet.

  421. Elisha says:

    STOP BREEDING DOGS!! So wrong! “My pup just had puppies 6 months ago and is in heat can I breed her again?” Like seriously!!?
    Should be illegal!

  422. doc says:

    Hello, Elisha,

    I hear where you’re coming from. When people ask me about breeding, I always ask if they have homes for the puppies, if there is a demand for them. We know that many unwanted dogs are put down, and we certainly don’t want to contribute to that problem.

    As to making it illegal, if they cannot enforce the laws against child abuse and exploitation, I doubt that we’d get much done here.

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